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nini ianrps 










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9 «. 



Deae S1B9 

I DEDICATE to jou theso Notos on the History and 
Topography of St. Pancras as an old inhabitant of the Parish, 
well known to your Friends for your natural Antiquarian Taste 
and Kitowledge^ and as most widely known and respected for 
your Genius as an Artist; having for more than sixty years 
devoted your Talents to the delineation of the Customs, and 
Habits, and to the exposure of the Follies of all classes of the 
People; and having also been distinguished for your warm- 
hearted and self-sacrificing Benevolence in behalf of the weak 
and the erring, in the hope of preserving or reclaiming them. 

Esteeming you very highly for your "Works* sake as also 
for your goodness, I heartily thank you for the permission to 
associate your world-wide name with this effort to interest our 
fellow Parishioners in the History and Associations of St. Pancras, 
and have the honour to subscribe myself 

Tour most obliged 

And grateful Servant, 

March 1874. 


A Friend ( Camden Square) 3 

Ash, Mr. William 2 

Auld, Mr. W. W. (Edinburgh) 1 

Badcock, Mr. John 

Barry, Mr. W 

Beale, Mr. J. L 

Bonomij Mr. Joseph (Soane^s 


Biddle, Mr.T. W 

Blackbom, Mr. £ 

Bold, Mr. J. E 

Bowen, Mr. H , 

Brown, Mr. R. Mansel 

Brown, Mr. W 

Browne, Mr. R.T 

Bryson, Mrs 

BuckoU, F. C 

Bui^ess, Mr. E. J 

Burns, The Rey. Dawson 

Burnett, Mr. E. C 

Burr, Mr. Joseph 

Calvert, Mrs. 

Carpenter, Mr. W. H 

Casey, Mr. J. R 

Cause, Mr. Edmund 

Chamberlain, Mr. Thomas ... ... 

Chamberlain, Mr. E 

Chapman, Mr. r... 

Chart, Mr. F. A 

Chaumeth, M. A. de la 

Clark, Mr. Andrew 

Clarke, Mr. William 

Coates, Mr. F 

Combe, Miss E 

Compositors. The London Society 

of * 4 

Cook, Mr. Charles 

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Benman, The Hon. Mr. Justice 

Bent, Mr. John 

Dickinson, Dr 

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Dixon, Mr. John 

Dod, Mr. A 

Draper, Mr. J. P 

Dunbar, Mr. P 

Dunn, Mr. E 

Eastlake, Lady 

Edwards, Mr. R 

Edwards, Mr. R. Jun 


Engall, Mr. B. C 
Essex, Mr. W. .. 
Eyers, Mr. A. .. 

Faning, Mr. C 

Filmer, Mr. E 

Flanders, Mr. A 

Forsyth, Mr. W., Q.C., M.P. ... 

Frampton, Mr. Q- 

J reer, Jur. J? . ^« ..•>...•• •»••....* 
Fry, Mr. Wm 

„ Mrs 

„ Mr. E. A 

Gibb, Mr. T. Eccleston 2 

Gilbey, Messrs. W. & A 6 

Gilling, Mr. Sydney 

Glen, Mr. A. H 

Goodall, Mr. J. C 

Goode, Mr. Frederick 

„ Mr. H. T 

„ Mr. Richard 

Gowing, Mr. F. W 

Green, Mr. J. G. (Gateshead)... 

Hall, Mr. S. Carter 8 

Hansard, Mr. Henry 6 

Hardy, Mr. James... 

Harper, Mr. Walter 

Harris, Mr ■ 

„ Mr. J. 

Harrison, The Rev. J. C 

„ Mr. George 

Harvey, Mr. Samuel 

Haslam, Miss 

Haslock, Mr 

Hawes, Mr. Jonathan 

Head, Mr. Charles 

Heal, Mr. J. Harris 

Heather, Mr. James 

Hibbert, Mr. F 

Hill, Mr. C 

Hirst, Mr. H 

Holcombe, Mr. J. Ivimey 

Mr. PhiUp 

Horn, Mr. G. T 

Houston, Mr. W. T 

Howard, Mrs 

Humbert, Mr. Lewis 

H. T 

Inwards, Mr. Jabez 

Jenkinson, Mr. F 

Jones, Mr. Samuel 

Jones, Mrs. (Camden Road) ... 


Kearslev, Miss 1 

Kemp, Mrs 1 

Kirsh, Mrs 1 

Klugh, Mr. C. W 1 

{Governesses* Institution), 

LaiDg, Mrs. David 1 

Laoipray, Mr. J., F.R.Q.S 1 

Lascellea, Mr. H 1 

Leach, Mr. John 2 

Leary, Mr. A. J 1 

Lee, Mr. William 1 

Luck. Mr. W. S 1 

Lomax, Mr. T. G. L 1 

Macaulay, Dr. (Editor of '* The 

Leisure Hour ") 2 

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Marples, Mr 

Maurau, Mr. Bernard J 

May, Mr. Joseph x 

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McKewan, Miss 

Metivier, Mr. John, B.A 

Meyers, Mr. George 

Miller, Mr. L. A 

Mills, Mr. T 

MofifaU, Mr. John 

Montgomery, Mr 

Mooie, Mr. E. G 

Morrisson, Mr. C 

Murphy, Mr 

Ne'^man, Mr. (Holborn) 6 

Owen, Mr 2 

Pace, Mr. E. W 

Parritt, Mr 

Parry, Mr 

Perry, The Rev. F 

Porter, Mr. J. H 

Pushee, Mr 

Pye, Mrs 

P. P. & W 

Eae, Mr. Robert {N, T. League) 

Rainbach, Mr. T. E 

Ranger, Mr. R. Apsley 

Regg, Mr. T 

Richardson, Mrs 

Richardson, Mr. Thcmas> B.A. 

Roberts, Mr. W. 

Bobbins, Mrs. 0* ••••.. 

Robins, Mr 

KoBser, Mr. J. H......... 

Salter, Mr. Joseph 1 

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Scott, Mr. W. Booth 1 

Selway, Mr. W. R 1 

Shallard, Mr 1 

Sharp, Mr 1 

Shaw, Mr. J. F 1 

Shirley, Mr. Stephen 2 

Skellett, Mr. E 1 

Slade.Mr. J 1 

Smith, Mr. A. R 6 

Soul, Mr. Joseph ((?. IV, School) 2 

Stanley, Mr 1 

Starling, Mr. W. F 1 

Stanton, The Rev. G. 11 4 

Stevens, Mr. H 2 

Stevenson, Dr. 1 

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Stocker. Mi-s i 

Stovell, Mrs. Alfred 1 

Sutherland, Mr 1 

Swift, Mr. C.T 2 

Payior, JUr. J. , ] 

Tes^yman, Mr 1 

Thompson, Mr. James 1 

Thorold, The Rev. Canon 8 

Trotman, Mr 1 

Tuck, Mr. W. H. E 1 

Tucker, Mr. Silas 1 

Vonderahe, Mr. 

Walker, Mr. Henry 2 

Walsh, Mr 1 

Waterlow, Sir S. 11 1 

Watt, Mr. Williiim 2 

Weber, Mr. H 1 

Westacott, Mr. T. B 2 

Westcoatt, Mr. Edwin 1 

Wheeller, Mr. E. J 1 

White, The Rev. E 1 

tt Ju r. X. ..................... X 

Whiting, Mr. Thomas 1 

Wilkinson, Miss I 

Williams, Mr 1 

Williamg. Mr. W. Ivor 2 

Wilson, Mr. W 1 

„ Mr. J 1 

Woodley, Mr. S 2 

Worrell, Mr. Charles 1 

Worsfold, The Rev. J. N 8 

Young, Mr. E •■•• •*•••(■. 1 


Ik the following account of North West London, much informa- 
tion that has already appeared in other Histories must necessarily 
be repeated, for the sake of completeness. Hitherto, no connected 
account has been given of the results of the rapid progress of 
this district in the past seventy years, during which period three 
towns have come into existence. Somers Town dates its com- 
mencement from the timB of the first French Sevolution ; Cam- 
den Town was commenced a few years after ; and Agar Town was 
projected thirty years ago — but is now swept away. 

The vast increase of the population in the Metropolis has been 
made more evident in this district from the fact of its rural 
condition but fifty years since. Kentish Town^ too, in the ten 
years previous to the last Census, from various causes, had been 
increased by 23,881 inhabitants, making the total population 
68,198 on the day the Census was taken, the entire population of 
St. Pancras being 221,694 

The History of St. Pancras may appear, at first sight, to be but 
of limited and merely local interest ; but deeper reflection and a 
more intimate acquaintanceship with the subject serves to show 
that as the History of London is really the History of England^ 
so a part of London must in some degree partake of the same 

The History of Soman London is necessarily vague and uncer- 
tain, and yet traces of the endeavour of Cjesar to colonise this 
island are frequently to be seen as excavations are made in the 


City, when the remains of Boman pavement and pottery are re- 
yealed. Bemains of the military roads also, and the ancient 
bridleways leading northwards to the well-known Watling-street, 
are interesting proofs of the Boman invasion of the island. 

The existence of the great Forest of Middlesex is also proved 
by its remains at Highgate as Caen or Ken Wood. 

The old feudal times are made real to us as we reflect upon the 
fact that St. Fancras was divided into manors, and that the few 
cottars who dwelt in them did so on condition that they paid tri- 
bute to their lords ; when the social condition of the villeins was 
that of entire dependence on the will of their owners, they having 
no more voice as to their disposal than their companions the hogs 
on the estate. 

As the Forest became cleared, and the operations of agriculture 
extended, so the population increased, and became, like the 
soil, prepared for higher cultivation. But when Christianity 
began to spread its blessings and humanising influences, then 
reason and not brute force only became the guiding rule. Evi- 
dently, apart from sects and systems, there has been a gradual 
and silent power at work, and the best proof we can adduce of 
the happy result is the free condition of the humblest labourer in 
the modern parish of St. Fancras compared with the slavish con- 
dition of the villein or serf 800 years ago, when the will of the 
lord of the manor was absolute. 

True, there are disadvantages and evils alongside our civiliza- 
tion which puzzle the wisest of our Statesmen how best to deal 
with them, and consequently they are generally left alone. Our 
poor-law system is the growth of centuries of neglect and misrule ; 
first, of repression and severity, after the evil had been created, 
leaving the poor and helpless to the mercy of the charitably dis- 
posed, resulting* in the many ancient charitable donations and 
bequests which parish records reveal ; and lastly, the law passed 
for the relief of the poor, founded upon the principle that no 
fellow creature should be sufiered to starve. 


As the population of the parish increased, so did the means for 
their necessities and higher wants become augmented. Holy and 
benevolent impulses have led to the erection of buildings for the 
poor, the aged and the helpless. The history of such institutions 
in the parish and their present condition, contained in this volume, 
will serve to interest all who sympathise with foundlings, or 
orphans, or the aged and destitute. 

The erection of many of the twenty-two Parish Churches in 
St. Pancras, mainly effected through the wisely and liberally 
directed efforts of the late Vicar, the Eev. Thomas Dale, is the 
evidence of growth and a desire to meet the wants of the members 
of the Church of England, principally by means of the voluntary 

The many Chapels of all denominations, having the same great 
end in view, tell of the same expansive and unselfish principles 
on behalf of others' highest needs. 

Perhaps the introduction of the first Bailway into London, as 
the London and Birmingham Bailway, more than any other cause, 
changed rapidly the material character of this neighbourhood. 
During its construction, large numbers of the navvy class were 
introduced, and many of those poor fellows were killed by the 
falling in of excavated earth, scarcely a day passing without one 
or more being borne from the Chalk Farm tunnel, for an inquest 
and speedy interment. Engineering has greatly improved since 
then, and life has not been so largely given as formerly to bring 
in improvements. 

Camden Town is the only town in which a statue has been 
erected to him whose ** unadorned eloquence *' at last was ac- 
knowledged and prevailed, in removing restrictions on the supply 
of the people's food— the blessings from which having never since 
been diminished, though perhaps forgotten — ^which must serve to 
remind the passer-by that Cobden was appreciated in St. Pancras. 

Education in St. Pancras was raised far in advance when a 
T" A versity College was erected in it, on liberal principles, by such 


men ob tbe late Lord Brougham, thongli the iDstitution was 
Baeered at and slandered at the time as Oodteaa and unchristian, 
but it has been an incentive to others to promote in other irtiya 
the same end. 

Of the many institutions which mark the material and moral 
progress of the great Pariah of St. Fancras, accounts will also 
be found in the following pages. 

As to the manner in which the writer has done his work, he 
leaves for others to decide. Ho is conscious of imperfection and 
omission; though the limits of the work have exceeded the 
original intention. It has been to him a labour of love, though 
pursued under difSculties aud with few advantages ; but it has 
brought its own reward. It has relieved the mind of other careei, 
and it has brought knowledge, and the pleasure which ever attends 
its pursuit. 

In conclusion, the writer would refer to the chapters on 
Cnmden and Kentish Towns as containing matters of interest 
untouched by previous writers. The chapter on Gray's Inn has 
been enriched by information kindly furnished by Mr. Douth- 
waito, the Librarian ; to that on Fitzroy Chapel (now St. Saviour's 
Church), the Bev. F. Ferry has supplied interesting information ; 
and Mr. Soul, the Secretary of the Orphan Working School, has 
kindly corrected and added to the account of that institution. 
Also, to the Subscribers the writer tenders hia grateful acknow- 
ledgments, and he now submits the result of his labours to the 
free inspection and kindly interest of his readers. 





It is generally supposed that Julius CsDsar, on Jxis second 
invasion of Britain, had an encampment in the neighbour- 
hood of Fancras ; and perhaps the chief advocate and most 
thorough believer in the story was Dr. Stukeley, who was 
bom in 1687. His researches are both curious and interest- 

Dr. Stukeley had commenced life as a physician, having 
studied at St. Thomas's Hospital as a pupu of Dr. Mead in 
1709. He settled for a short time as a medical practitioner 
at Boston, in his native county, and acquired great reputa- 
tion as a physician ; but his health failing, on the advice of 
Archbishop Wake, he relinquished medicine, and took orders 
in 1720. In 1747, he was presented to the rectory of 
St. George-the-Martyr by the Duke of Montague, and either 
in Queen Square or in Kentish Town he continued till the. 
3rd of March 1765, when he died from a stroke of palsy. 
He was in his seventy-eighth year, which he attained by his 
remarkable temperance and regularity. 

At the time he wrote the second volume of his ^^ Itine- 
rarium Ouriosum,^' he was living in Queen Square, London, 
beside the Church of St» George-the-Martyr, of which he 


Though much of this narrative may be purely imaginary, 
still the main facts are warranted by the histories of the period. 
Oeasar came to Britain to settle disputes which had arisen ; 
that he had an encampment near London is most probable, 
and the spot so firmly believed in by Stukeley may have been 
the precise one on which the scene of reconciliation between 
the British king and his nephew took place. When the Old 
Ohurch was being repaired in 1848, Boman bricks were found, 
which supports Dr. Stukeley's theory that here was the site of 
a Roman encampment. 

The reader of this account must have noticed that in 
the endeavour to establish a fact relating to the obscure 
and remote past, Dr. Stukeley has given a description of the 
spot as it then existed. The house from which he started in 
Queen Square still exists, and is now a greengrocer's shop. 
The fields are all covered with streets ; the brook has long 
since been diverted, and the block of buildings now called St. 
Fancras Square covers the spot. 

The church, too, is unlike the building Stukeley saw, and, 
it may be, in which he occasionally preached when Benjamin 
Mence, of King's College, Cambridge, was the viqar. 

In an old print of St. Fancras Chxirch, and the Brill, dated 
1642, there is a representation of that portion there of the 
earthworks erected by order of the Farliament to prevent the 
entrance of King Charles and his forces into the City. It is 
possible that the more ancient earthworks may have been 
re-constructed or repaired, and it is also but justice to refer 
to this fact, as antiquaries have disputed Dr. Stukeley's 
confident statement from the above-mentioned facts. 



Thb secular and ecclesiastical history of England became 
interwoven at an early date. In England, as in Europe 
generally^ the preaching of the Gospel materially changed 
the character of the people and their institutions. The 
heathen temples were also transformed into churches or 
places of assembly. London was converted to Christianity 
under the Bomans, but its ecclesiastical history during that 
period is of a very fragmentaiy character. 

The Latin term parochia indicates the ecclesiastical origin 
of our word " parish." It may be interesting to see how the 
introduction of Christianity also introduced those divisions of 
land which continue to the present day. It must be 
premised that our country was as barbarous as Africa is now, 
with its chieftains making war upon their neighbours, and, 
when victorious, holding the conquered inhabitants as slaves, 
or compelling them to pay tribute. The first missionaries 
to our island were zealous men, and so attracted the inhabit- 
ants to their standard that they gained a footing in some 
city, then built a church, and surrounded themselves with a 
company of clerks, or clergy, who acted according to their 
directions. These missionaries were bishops, or overseers, 
and had circuits^ like diocesan parishes. The clergy lived 
with their bishops. The offerings or tithes of the people 
formed a common stock for the maintenance of the bishop 
and college of priests ; afterwards it included alms for the 
poor and the repair of the churches. 

In the third century the proprietors of land who were 
influenced by these early preachers, began, with the license 
of the ecclesiastical authorities, to build and endow churches 
on their own possessions^ and they were supported from the 


profits of the land as well as by offerings of such as repaired 
thither for divine service. We trace here the origin of lay 
impropriators. Lords of manors built churches, and granted 
land or glebe for their support. Primarily, glebe meant the 
turf or soil, and at length it became pecuharly the ecclesias- 
tical term for a benefice. In those times almost all the 
necessaries of life were supplied from the produce of the earth. 
The right of presenting a clerk to the church, which originally 
belonged to the bishop, originated from this cause. Thus 
parishes arose from lay foundations. The difference in extent 
is accounted for by the varying limits appointed for them at 
their origin. The names were adopted from some favourite 
saint, or site, or lordship, or the fancy of the founder ; they 
were also created gradufdly, as the result of circumstances, 
and did not become fully settled till after the Norman 

Tithes were also a great source of income, and being the 
original mode of supporting worship under the Mosaic insti- 
tution, it is not surprising that the Christian Church should 
adopt the same means. The State also enforced it, for we 
learn that King Edgar, in 970, passed a law that " every 
man shall pay his tythes to the most ancient church or 
monastery where he hears God's service : '' " Which I 
understand," says the learned Selden, who wrote on the origin 
of tithes, "not otherwise than any church or monastery 
whither usually, in respect of his commorancy or his parisn, 
he repaired ; taat is, his parish church or monastery.'* 

As early as the year 314, Restitutus was Bishop of LondoUi 
and was one of the three bishops who were delegated to the 
Council of Aries, in France. After that time the Saxons, 
who were Pagans, so obstinately opposed Christiani^ that 
Theon, the last Soman or British Bishop of London, fled, in 
the latter end of the sixth century, to Wales, from their 
persecution. London was again nominally converted to 
Christianity about the year 604, tinder Sebert, third king of 
the East Saxons, bv Mellitus, who was ordained its bishop by 
Augustine the Arcnbishop of the English. Ethelbert, king 
of Kent, to whom Sebert was tributary, and who had been 
converted by Augustine, built the first Saxon Christian church 
in London, which he dedicated to St. Paul ; so that from the 
double circumstance of the kingdom of the East Saxons 
being tributary to Kent, and Mellitus being a missionary of 



Augufitinei it has happened that London is suffiragan of the 
See of Canterbury. "CTnder the successors of Sebert, London 
returned to Paganism, but was again converted in the reign 
of Sigibert the Good, sixth king of the East Saxons, by Oedda, 
a Northumbrian priest, who was the first Saxon ordained 
Bishop of London. In a subsequent reign, London returned 
partially to Paganism, but its apostasy was of short duration. 
We are indebted to Alfred the Great for constituting London 
the capital of all England, but it still is subject to the See of 
Canterbury, and the archbishop is the ecclesiastical head, 
officiating at the crowning of a monarch, and his throne in 
Canterbury Cathedral indicates the position he holds in the 

The question of the propriety of the legal establishment of 
Christianity as the religion of the State, and of its alliance 
with the civil power, foi^s no part of the present inquiry ; 
but from the foregoing brief account it can be readily under- 
stood how and why the ecclesiastical and secular histoiy of 
England have become thus interwoven. 

The attentive reader of the History of England must ever 
be struck with the strong contrasts, both material and morali 
which are presented between the Past and the Present. 
Sharon Turner says that it is probable that the present state 
and people of New Zealand exhibit more nearly than any other 
the condition of Britain when the Komans entered it. Then 
the forests, which were often of great extent, were a protec- 
tion and sometimes a refuge from the incursions of neigh- 
bouring tribes, who were continually at war with each other. 
Such a protection must have been the ancient Forest of 
Middlesex to ancient Loudon. It was no doubt the reAige 
also of animals of the wolf tribe ; but then the people were 
scarcely more human than the animals they hunted and 
destroyed either for self-preservation or sport. In process of 
time, and as an evidence of the progress of civilisation, the 
greater part of the Forest was cleared, and converted into 
pasture land, leaving what is now called Caen Wood, on 
Lord Mansfield's estate at Highgate, as its memorial to the 
present day. 

St. Pancras was made a prebendal manor by Ethelbert, and 

was included in the land granted by that monarch to St. Paul's 

Cathedral about the year 603 ; it was a parish before the Nor- 

'man Conquest, and is called Pancras in the Domesday Book* 


At the present time the parisli of St. Pancras covers 2|716 
statute acres, with a populatioxii according to the census of 
1871, of 221,594. B is bounded on the north by Hampstead 
and Homsey parishes ; on the east by Olerkenwell and Isling- 
ton ; on the south by St. Andrew, Holbom, and St. George, 
Bloomsbury ; on the west by Marylebone. 

Originally^ at the time of the sunrey in 1080| the parish 
consisted of four hamlets or manors ; Kentish Town, formerly 
called Cantlersy Oantelowsi or Eennistonne ; Tothele or Tot- 
tenhall Court ; St. Pancras proper, where the old church is 
situated ; and the manor of Ilugemere. 

The prebendal manor of Gantelows or Eennistonne, was 
anciently a part of. the forest of Middlesex ; its name being 
derived from that of Eeginald de Eentwoode, a Dean of St. 
PauPs at a very early period after the introduction of 
Christianity into England. Part of Ken Wood or Caen 
Wood is the only remaining evidence of the existence of that 
great forest. The most vahiable relic of antiquity we possess 
which can be received as an authority is the record of a 
survey or census undertaken by command of William the 
Conqueror, and which took six years to complete, known as 
the Domesday Book; it has no record of LondoUi but it 
contains the following description of this manor: ''The 
Canons of St. Paul's hold four hides of land '' (a hide being 
a tract of land, which varied from 20 to 30 and sometimes to 
100 acres) " in the parish of St. Pancras, for a manor called 
' Cantelowes or Kennistonne.^ The land is of two caracutes '' 
(as much land as could be cultivated by means of two 
ploughs) ; *^ there is plenty of timber in the hedgerows, good 
pasture for cattle, a running brook, and 20d. rents* Four 
villeins (serfs), together with seven bordars'' (cottars, who 
generally rented cotta8;es and land, for which they undertook 
to supply the lord of the manor's table with a certain quan- 
tity of eggs, poultry, butter, &c.), ^'who hold this land 
under the Canons of St. Paul's, at 40s. a year rent. 

A survey of the manor in the time of Cromwell, about 600 
years afterwards, was taken, and it then contained 210 acres 
of land. The manor-house was sold to Bichard Hill, a mer^ 
chant, in London; and the manor to Bichard TJtber, a 
draper. Ten eventful years passed away, and, on the restora- 
tion of the monarchy, the original lessees of the manor, or 
their representatives^ were reinstated j another ten years 



passed^ and the manor came into the possession of John 
Jeffireys, father of Sir Jeffreys Jefeeys, an alderman of Lon- 
don; then, by the marriage of the first Earl Camden with 
one of the daughters of Kichard Jeffreys^ grandson of Sir 
John, it eventnally became by inheritance the property of the 
present Marquis of Oamden. 

Multitudes of persons who have passed through Gordon 
House Lane, Kentish Town, may have read a notice on a 
stone set in a wall there, a few yards from the Kentish Town 
Bead, stating that it is '' The way to the Church Lands/' but 
few have had any other idea of its meaning save that certain 
land in that part was owned by the Church. It may be infor- 
mation, therefore, to many to be told, that in ancient times 
it was customary for every one possessed of landed property 
to give by his will to the fabric of the cathedral or parisn 
church where he lived. Hence, lands so given were called 
Fabric Lands^ because given ad FabricamEcclesice reparandam. 
They were called by the Saxons Timber Londs. 

In the year 1766, the churchwardens and overseers of St. 
Pancras revised and printed a table of charities, which had 
been " first collected and exposed to public view in the year 
1696.'' It is called " a Table of the Pious and Charitable 
Gifts and Legacies of Pious and Charitable Benefactors to 
the Parish of St. Pancras, alias Kentish Town, in the County 
of Middlesex.^' From this revised table it may be learnt that 
certain lands, commonly called the Church Lands, fee simple, 
copyhold of inheritance, held of the manors of Tottenhall 
Court and of Cantlows, were *'given by some person or persons 
unknown, and whereof the memory of man is not to the con- 
trary," for the use and benefit of this parish, *' for the need- 
ful and necessary repairs of the said parish church and the 
chapel at Kenti^ Town,'^ as the said parish in vestry assem- 
bled should direct. These lands were to be vested in eight 
trustees, who were to be elected by the inhabitants. Various 
Acts were passed to determine the application of the surplus 
funds arising from these lands. In former times, therefore, 
a church rate was considered unnecessary, and whenever the 
disbursements exceeded the receipts, the parishioners preferred 
to reimburse them out of the poor rates rather than make a 
church rate ; but church rates were raised by virtue of the 
Church Acts (66 Geo. 3, c. 39, and 1 & 2 Geo. 4, c. 24) " for 
building a I^ew Parish Church and a Parochial Chapel in the 


parish of Si. PancraSi in the Oounty of Middlesex^ and for 
other purposes relating thereto/' and after repaying'all monies 
raised or borrowed under those Acts, were to cease. Church 
Bates, therefore, ceased in this parish in 1842. 

The Church Lands are in total extent 23 acres, 1 rood, and 
15 perches, and consist of four parcels of land ; one orimially 
meadow land, near Swain's Lane, called the Two- Acre Field ; 
another, called the Three- Acre Field,near Spring Place, known 
for many years as the watercress field on account of that 
wholesome addition to the breakfast table being cultivated in 
a comer of it, but in 1856 a part of this land (27 perches) was 
purchased by the Hampstead Junction Railway Company, at 
a cost of £1,050, including compensation money. The third 
parcel, called the Nine- Acres and the Four- Acres, " near the 
footpath or way across the fields to Pond-street" (being the 
land referred to on the stone in Gordon House Lane) ; and 
the fourth parcel, called the Four- Acre Fieldj was formerly 
let to Mr. Hunter, a steward of the Earl of Mansfield, at 
£6 5s. an acre. 

The whole of the leases of these four parcels of land expired 
at.Michaelmas 1858, and they were then advertised, by the 
saAction of the Charity. Commissioners for England and 
Wales, for letting on building leases for 99 years. 

These lands are now covered with houses. Gospel Oak 
Village and adjoining streets, containing a large proportion 
of the 23,881 persons added to the population of Kentish 
Town since 1861. 

What a contrast is presented between the pleasant pastur- 
age and sweet hedgerows, which many who walked in the foot- 
path or way across the fields to Pond-street s^ill remember, 
and its present town-like appearance. And what a contrast 
also in the money value, when in 1650 Mr. Richard Gwalter 
could obtain a lease of four acres of this land for 21 years, 
at twopence a year rent, on consideration of a payment of 
£54 ; or that Thomas Ive should obtain a lease, dated 20th 
Jime 1650, in the reign of Charles the First, for a similar 
period of 21 years, of 17 acres, at £17 a year rent ; while in 
July 1846, 27 acres of building ground in Gospel Oak and 
Five- Acre Fields, between Kentish Town and Hampstead, 
were sold for nearly £400 an acre. 

The manor of Tottenhall Court adjoins that of Cantelows 
or Kentish Town> terminating northwards at Higbgate, and 


it extends southwards as far as St. Giles-in-tlie-Fields. It 
can scarcely be called a prebendal manor now, from the yery 
small pecuniary acknowledgment of the fact by the present 
holders. How it was lost will be explained in the chapter, 
on that district. 

Eugemere Manor is referred to by Norden. It is also 
mentioned in the survey of the parish in 1251 ; and though 
a prebendal stall with that name still remains in St. Faurs, 
it is entirely lost pecuniarily to the church, and no record is 
said to exist of its precise locality. It is supposed to have 
been to the south-east of the parish, probably where is now 
Doughty, Swinton, Calthorpe, and some other estates. 

St. Pancras Manor, the most anciently inhabited part of 
the parish, consists of the district around the old church, and 
includes Somers Town and Agar Town. 




The name of the Parisli of St. Pancras becomea exceedingly 
interesting from the fact that it is derived from that of a 
youthful nobleman of Phrygia, who suffered martyrdom at 
feome by order of Diocletian. The Rev. Edward White, of 
St. PauiS Chapely Hawley Road, some years since, published 
a lecture on the subject, to which is due the following par- 
ticulars of the life of the patron saint of this parish, which 
are calculated to exchange indifference as to his name and 
memory, as Mr. White says *^ for that compassionate affec- 
tion, without which it is impossible to contemplate the 
martyrdom of a noble and heroic youth, even through the 
long gloom of intervening centuries.^' 

Pancratius was the son of a wealthy nobleman of ancient 
lineage. At ten years of age he was left an orphan in the 
care of an uncle, who took him to Rome as the best 
means of fulfilling his charge. This was about the year of 
our Lord 290. At that time the Emperor Diocletian, who 
was greatly opposed to Christianity, had a minister named 
Galerius, who persuaded him to put all the Christians to 
death, and many by his order suffered excruciating tortures 
and painful deaths. That did not stay the progress of , 
Christianity. Amongst those early Christians was a pastor 
or bishop, whose name was Marcellinus ; he went from house 
to house earnestly expounding the doctrines of the new faith. 
During the night they would be in the Catacombs cele- 
brating the Lord's Supper, or communing with their fellow 
Christians and strengthening each other against the terrors 
of death. Marcellinus had in the course of his visitations 
met with Pancratius and his uncle, and they at length took 
mutual delight in listening to his exposition of the Gospel of 
John. The unclci howeveri died, leaving his orphan nephew 


exposed to the merciless persecution wluch then prevailed. 
The day following this sad event, as Pancratius was kneeling 
beside the dead body, in earnest prayer, four Boman soldiers 
entered the room^ and one of them bade him rise and prepare 
to enter the presence of the emperor. The boy rose from his 
knees, when a chain was fastened to his wrists, and, after 
taking the last look at the calm and now rigid features of his 
faithful and loving relative, he followed the guard through 
the streets of Home to the imperial palace of the CsBsars. 

Being the son of a nobleman, he was honoured with 
a trial, and, with his arms manacled, he was led into the 

!)resence of Diocletian. Bitter as he was against the fol- 
owers of Jesus Christ, he was moved to pity when he saw 
the youth thus brought before him. With similar motives 
to those which animated the ruling powers in later times to 
compel submission he tried to win back the mistaken convert, 
and reminded him of his father and mother, and their faith- 
fulness to the gods of their ancestors. He also promised to 
place him in a high position in the State if he would but 
sacrifice to Jupiter ; but all was of no avail. The emperor 
then threatened him with destruction that very day ; that he 
should not live an hour longer, and that his body 
should be thrown to wild beasts. It is recorded that, though 
pale and trembling, he boldly answered, " You may kill me, 
but I dare not deny my Saviour. I dare not worship idols. 
God will give me strength to die for Him/' '' TbJlq the 
obstinate boy away from my presence," exclaimed the now 
enraged monarch ; lead him to the Aurelian Way, and there 
dispatch him with your swords.'' They at once did so. It 
was sunset, and kneeling down upon the pavement, with his 
hands fastened behind him, the noble boy, pierced by the 
executioners' swords, died a martyr's deatn. His mangled 
body was secretly conveyed away at night by some Christian 
ladies, and buried in the Catacombs. 

When the Emperor Constantino formed the first alliance 
between Christianity and the State, then the people made 
saints of those who had suffered for their faith, and amongst 
others the bones of Pancratius were disinterred, and regarded 
as sacred relics, and a magnificent church was erected over 
his burial-place. 

Leo the Tenth, the grand enemy of Luther, and the founder 
of St. Peter's^ at Borne; afterwards xebuilt the Ohorehi Qf St. 


Fancras in the Aurelian Way, at Borne. '^ It still stands/' 
Bays Sir George Head, '^ by the roadside^ at the end of a 
pleasant avenue of trees/^ and at the close of fifteen hundred 
years the young martyr's glory is spread over the breadth of 
Christendom. No wonder that the name of so interesting a 
martyr to the faith should have been given to other churches. 
There is one in France, another in Giessen, in Hesse Darm- 
stadt, many in Italy, besides the first one in Home, and 
there are seven in England. At a very early period of the 
introduction of Christianity into England the name was 
applied to the first church in this district, and it will be to 
the glory of the inhabitants if the self-sacrificing spirit of 
Pancratius is widely spread throughout the parish which 
acknowledges the name. 

The period of the erection of the original St. Fancras 
Church is unknown. It is not known with certainty when the 
present building was erected ; but it is generally believed 
to have been about the year 1350. Lysons in his '^ Environs 
of London '^ asserts that it ^' is certainly not older than the 
fourteenth century.'' 

I^orden, who wrote in the reign of Elisabeth, says that 
this church '^for the antiquitie thereof, is thought not to 
yeald to Faules in London ;'' and a writer in the '^ Gentle- 
man's Magazine "' for July 1749, states that '^ Christ's sacred 
altar here first Britain saw.'' 

Other antiquaries tell us that the original establishment 
of a church on this site was in early Saxon times ; and Max* 
imilian Misson in writing of St. John Lateran, at Bome, 
says, '^ This is the head and mother of all Christian churches, 
if you except that of St. Fancras, under Highgate, near 

According to a work published in 1761, ^^ London and its 
Environs," " The Church of St. Fancras, termed the mother 
of St. Faul's, was situated in the City of Canterbury, and 
was changed from a pagan temple to a Christian church by 
St. Austin (Augustine) the Monk, in the year 598, when he 
dedicated it to St. Fancras." 

The church described in the records belonging to the Dean 
and Chapter of St. Faul's, after a visitation made in the year 
1261, is stated to have '^ had a very small tower ; a uttle 
belfry» a good stone font for baptismsj and a small marble 


Btoae, ornamented with copper^ to carry the pax, or Bymbol 
of atonement." The wotd pax means literally peace, and 
refers to a small crucifix, or a plate with a crucifix engraved 
on it, which, before the Reformation, was kissed by the people 
on leaving church. 

In 1251, the vicar had all the small tithes, a pension 
of £5 per annum out of the great tithes, four acres of glebe 
land, and a vicarage house near the church. The parish 
contained then only 40 houses. 

The Dean and Chapter of St. PauVs became about the year 
1100 the patrons and ordinaries of the vicarage, and also pos- 
sessed the rectory. The tithes were given to the Canons of 
St. Paul's by William de Belmeis, a nephew of Richard de 
Belmeis, Bishop of London, the said William being the 
owner of the prebend of Pancras. This grant was confirmed 
by Bishop Gilbert in 1183, and by John de St. Lawrence, 
Belmeis' successor to the prebend. The prebendary of St. 
Pancras was at one time confessor to the Bishop of London. 
Amongst the list of confessors are Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop 
of Winchester, Dr. Sherlock, and Archdeacon Paley. The 
land belonging to the rectory was leased by various persons, 
when in 1794 it was vested in a Mr. Swinnerton, of the 
White Hart Inn, Colebrook, and then passed into the hands 
of Mr. Agar, who gave a notoriety to the spot by granting 
short building leases, which created Agar Town and its mis- 
erable associations, till the whole was cleared by the Midland 
Railway Company, who are now the owners of a large part 
of this once prebendal manor. 

In the reign of Elizabeth, Norden visited all the parishes 
in Middlesex, and in his works ^'Speculum BritannisQ^' he 
describes this church, in 1593, as standing ^'all alone, 
utterly forsaken, old and wether-beten ; yet about this 
structure have bin manie buildings, now decaied, leaving 
poore Pancras without companie or comfort.^' He adds, 
^' although this place be, as it were, forsaken of all, and true 
men seldom frequent the same, but upon devyne occasions ; 
yet it is visited by thieves, who assemble there in the fields 
not to pray, but to wait for preye, the travellers on the great 
north roads ; and manie fall into their handes clothed, that 
are glad when they are escaped naked. Walk not there late.'' 
The church, however, was not then often used for ^^ devyne 
occasions/^ as the same author writes: *^ Folks from the 


hamlet of Eennistonne now and then visit Pancras Ohnrch, 
but not often, having a chapele of their own. When, how* 
ever, they have a corpse to be interred, they are forced to 
leave the same within this forsaken church or churchyard| 
where it resteth as secure against the day of resurrection as 
if it laie in stately St. Paule's.'^ The few inhabitants near 
the old church are supposed to have gone to London to 
worship in one of the many churches there, in those days, 
their visits to their own church being confined to the first 
Sunday in every month; the rural population of Elentish 
Town attending their own little church. 

In Queen Elizabeth's days, the name Pancras, in the 
literature, especially in the plays, was corrupted to Pancredge. 

St. Pancras Church formerly consisted of a nave and 
chancel, built of stones and flint, and a low tower with a 
bell-shiiped roof. In 1848, it was enlarged by taking the 
space occupied by the old square tower into the body of the 
church, and a spire was placed on the south side. The west 
end, which was lengthened, has an enriched Norman porch, 
and a wheel window in the gable above. 

While the works were proceeding, Roman bricks, a small 
a]tar stone, early Normaii capitals, anEar^ English piscina, 
and Tudor brick- work, were discovered. The chancel win- 
dows and the western wheel* window are filled with stained 
glass. The old monuments have been restored, and placed 
as nearly as possible in their original positions. The Early 
Tudor marble Purbeck memorial is placed on the north wall, 
opposite the baptistry. The recesses for brasses are there, 
but neither arms nor date are remaining. The marble tablet, 
with palette and pencils, the memorial of Samuel Cooper, a 
celebrated miniature painter, who died in 1672, is placed on 
the south-east interior wall. Cooper by his pencil, has 
handed down to us likenesses of some of tne most celebrated 
statesmen, wits, and beauties of his day. A portrait of 
Oliver Cromwell is esteemed his chef d!asuvTe. His pro- 
ductions realise great prices all over Europe. In the opposite 
gallery, is a monument with a Latin inscription to a worthy 
member of the Doughty family. There are three small 
brasses over the vestry in memory of the daughter of A. 
Glover, of Tottenhall Court. The date of her death is 1588. 
The memorial monument to William Piatt, who died in 1637, 
and to his wife Mary, who'died in 1687, is on the south side 


of the nave. It was originally in the old chapel at Highgate, 
and was removed to St. Pancras in 1833, when that chapel 
was pulled down ; it was restored at the expense of St. John^s 
College, Cambridge, in 1848. 

The earliest date of the registry of baptisms and marriages 
is 1660, and that of burials is 1668. 

This is stated to be the last church in England whose bell 
tolled for mass, and in which any rites ofthe Roman Catholic 
religion were celebrated after the Reformation ; and prayers 
for the repose of the souls of those whose remains are supposed 
to be still lying in the churchyard are to this day offered at 
Rome. This has been assigned as the reason for Roman 
Catholics '* affecting to be buried here," as Strype says ; 
but it is related in *^ Windham's Diary," that while Dr. 
Johnson was "airing one day with Dr. Brocklesby, in 
passing and returning by St. Pancras Church, he fell into 
prayer, and mentioned, upon Dr. Brocklesby inquiring why 
the Catholics chose that spot for their burial-place, that some 
Catholics in Queen Elizabeth's tinie had been burnt there." 
This would, of course, give additional interest to the sacred 
spot ; but the first mentioned reason would be in itself 
sufficient to account for the fact of the existence of so many 
crosses on the tombs, or the significant words, '^ Requiescat 
in pace.*' 





Ik '^ An Account of the Charitable Institutions, &c.|Of the 
Parish of St. Pancras/* by the late Mr. Samuel Wiswould, a 
list is published of the Yicars of the parish from the earliest 
known records. The list is incomplete, and in some instances 
but little information can be traced. In later times more 
care was taken in the preservation of Churcbrecords, and w'e 
have consequently fuller and more accurate particulars. 

The earliest known Vicar of St. Pancras was " Fulcberius 
the Priest.'' He was made perpetual Vicar, with an annual 
pension of 2s. in 1183, till his death in 1190, when " Alex- 
ander, a clerk," was appointed his successor. He held the 
tithes belonging to the Dean and Chapter as their tenant. 

There is then a gap of nearly 400 years in the record. 
During that time fifteen Kings had reigned, sometimes as 
oppressors of their subjects, and sometimes as promoters of 
the best interests of the kingdom. In the early part of the 
reign of King John a fierce contest arose between that monarch 
and the then Pope. John had previously interfered and 
settled, as he thought, the furious controversy between the 
suffragan bishops and the Augustine monks, as to the nomi- 
nation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, by confirming the 
succession of John de Gray, Bishop of Norwich ; but his 
holiness the Pope appointed Cardinal Stephen Langton to the 
See. Then came the resistance to the encroachment of power 
by the Papacy. The Pope threatened to lay the kingdom 
under interdict if his orders were not obeyed, and John in his 
turn swore that he would banish the whole of the clergy and 
confiscate their possessions. The Pope issued his terrible 
edict. The church doors were closed, the dead were refused 
burialy and thrown into ditches^ or exposed in the highway ; 


marriage was celebrated in the cliurcliyards; and the people 
prohibited to indulge in meat or pleasure^ and from shaving 
their beards^ and saluting each other in the streets. Some of 
the clergy did perform divine service under fear of the 
King's displeasure, but in vain he threatened, and punished, 
and even banished many others. The Pope seeing his own 
succesSy followed it up by excommxmicating the king, and 
declaring him unfit for human society, and that his subjects 
were absolved from allegiance to him, and also excommuni-i 
cated all who should remain faithful to him. Thus in those 
days the spiritual did include the temporal, for the crowning 
act of the JPope was to make a tender of the " fair realme of 
England ** to Phillip, king of France, who joyfully accepted 
the enterprise, and was soon ready to sail with a fleet of 
1,700 vessels. The English spirit was aroused, and 60,000 
men rallied to the side of the king to resist the invader. In 
the meanwhile the Pope sent Cardinal Pandulph as his legato 
to John, offering to avert the impending danger if he declared 
his penitence, and placed himself imder the protection of the 
Holy See. The result was that King John made the most 
humiliating surrender to the Church of Eome ever recorded 
in history. And so the ban of the Pope was removed from 
King John. About 100 years afterwards the people declared 
that the usurpations of the Pope were the cause of all the 
plagues, injuries, famine, and poverty of the realm ; and the 
parliament which had now become powerful supported the 
king (Edward III.) in his resistance to a humiliating tax 
imposed on King John. The Eeformer John Wycliffe lived 
in this reign, and the people were silently growing in power. 
Doubtless all parts of England were influenced, and if records 
of our clergy could be found of this and subsequent reigns 
we should be able to judge somewhat of the inhabitants of 
our parish by the character of the men who were its Vicars. 
It is possible that the sma]l church of St. Pancras may have 
been closed, and deserted for a time, its ministers banished 
and consequently silenced in common with many others, — 
but whatever the cause, the fact remains that no vicar's name 
is to be found till 1535, the year after the Eeformation. 
The temporal power of the rope in England was then 

In 1535, John Beston^ D.D. was the incumbent and Pre* 



In 1547 Sip William Greveson was vicar, and the nnmber 
of howselyng people, or such as were supposed to be qualified 
to receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper, was 140. It 
is further recorded that the vicarage was then ** worth £9 
by the year, and that he (the vicar) served the cure without 
further help.^' 

In 1680 the only record is the name " Gray.*' 

On September 18th, 1609, Boger Fenton was collated to 
the prebend of St. Pancras, whereby he then became rector 
and patron as well as vicar of that church, which prebend, 
vicarage, and also the rectory of St. Stephen, Walbroke, he 
enjoved till his death, which happened January 16th, 1615, 
in tne 50th year of his age. He was buried under the 
communion table, in the chancel of St. Stephen, Walbroke. 
Over his grave was a stone laid, with an inscription, whereby 
it appeared he was a Lancashire man bom. Fellow of Pem- 
broke Hall, Cambridge, Doctor of Divinity, and a person 
excellently well learned, pious, and beloved. 

From 1616 till 1624 the living was held by Henry Bradley, 
senior and junior, when John Elborrowe, A.M., who had 
ceased to be vicar of St. Pancras, in 1631, and was after- 
wards rector of Wennington, and also vicar of Sainham, in 
Essex, had a lease of the rectory of St. Pancras, which he 
held until the year 1658, when it expired. 

Dr. Denison was vicar in 1643. At a meeting of the com- 
mittee for plundered ministers, appointed by the parliament 
of the Commonwealth, held May 1st, 1647, upon the humble 

Petition of divers of the inhabitants of the parish of St. 
*ancras, alias Kentish Town, in the county of Middlesex, it 
was ordered that Thomas Hoggflesh,. Thomas Steinson, and 
John Neal, inhabitants of the aforesaid parish, do provide for 
the service of the cure of the church of St. Pancras aforesaid, 
and coUect together and receive the tithes, rents, duties, and 
profits of the vicarage thereof sequestered from Dr, Denison, 
and therewith satisfy such person or persons as they shall 
provide to officiate the cure of the said church for and during 
the space of three months next ensuing. The name of 
William Birkett then occurs, but without any comment. 

In 1656 Handolph Yearwood (chaplain to the Lord Mayor 
in 1657) was vicar till 1660, when he was suspended for 
marrying two persons without banns or license. During his 
suspension Timothy Boughey and Thomas Daniel offioiatedr 


In the churbhyard there was formerly a stone ** To the 
memory of Bandolph Yearwood, late vicar of this parish^ 
who died Jidy 1689 ; and Margaret his wife." 

In 1689, John Marshall^ LL.B., and in 1706 his son, 
Nathaniel Marshall, D.D. The latter was a celebrated 
preacher ; he was chaplain to George II., and lecturer at 
Aldermanbury Church in 1715. Bishop Clayton recommends 
his sermons as preferable to either Sherloclt*s or Atterbury^s 
forpathos, and for lively and warm application. 

In 1716 Edward de Chair became vicar. He' was well 
known for his solid and polite literature. It is stated that 
he was knocked down and ran over by horses driven by a 
drunken carman, which caused his death in December 1749. 
Benjamin Mence succeeded him, and died in 1796, when 
Weldon Champneys, M.A., became vicar. He was minor 
canon of Westminster Abbey for nearly fifty years, and also 
of Windsor for about the same period ; he was indefatigable 
in his duties, of a lively and pleasant turn of conversation, 
and was much esteemed by an extensive circle of friends. He 
died at the Vicarage House, Kentish Town, on the 26th 
October 1816, in his 75th year. 

Dr. Mid(Ueton was presented to the vicarage of St. Pancras 
in 1811, and in 1814 was chosen to be the first Protestant 
bishop in India. He died in 1822. 

Dr. Moore became Vicar in 1814. In 1822 the new church 
was completed in the New Road, when he preached the 
sermoil on its consecration. He amply improved the means 
of usefulness placed in his hands, and was most assiduous in 
promoting every work which coiJd tend to the welfare of the 
nock committed to his charge. He died in 1847, and was 
buried at St. Pancras. 

Thomas Dale, M.A., was born at Pentonville in 1797. At 
eight years of age he entered Christ's Hospital, and received 
his early education from Dr. Trollope. In 1817 he became a 
student at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and while 
there he published his poems: — **The Widow of Nain," 
" The Tale of the Flood,'* and " The Outlaw of Taurus." He 
was for three years a curate at St. Michael's, ComhiU, 
evening teacher at St. Sepulchre's, vicar of St. Bride's in 
1835, and was appointed vicar of St. Pancras in 1846 ; he 
resigned after an incumbency of fourteeu years, and became 
vicar of Theriield, Herts. While vicar of the vast parish of 


St. Pancras (he has often said it was large enough to be a 
diocese) Mr. Dale applied himself with great energy to the 
work of church extension. The number of new churches, 
many with parsonage houses and schools attached, attest his 
success in this great and good work. It was said by many 
47ho attended his ministry that Mr. Dale's sermons were 
always seasonable, and he availed himself of passing events 
to give freshness and point to his discourses; and he was 
ever ready to visit the sick and the a£9icted, and faithfully 
guided all such to the Saviour for pardon and peace. 

The Rev. William Weldon Champneys, M. A., was bom at 
Camden Town in the year 1807 ; his father being the Rev. 
William Belton Champneys, M. A. ; he is also grandson of the 
Rev. Weldon Champneys, formerly vicar of St. Pancras. Mr. 
Champneys was appointed by Braseijiose College, Oxford (of 
which he was elected a Fellow in 1831) to the rectory of 
Whitechapel in 1837 ; in 1851 he was recommended to the 
Queen for a canonry in St. Paul's by Lord John Russell, the 
then premier, and appointed first rural dean of Stepney soon 
afterwards by Bishop Blomfield. During the time that Mr. 
Champneys was rector of Whitechapel he identified himfielf 
with all the various projects for the amelioration of the con- 
dition of the working classes spiritually, morally, and physic- 
ally. The ragged schools and refuges of his densely 
populated parish were his especial care. Under his auspices 
the first Church of England Young Men's Society was 
established in Whitechapel. Mr. Champneys became vicar 
of St. Pancras in 1860, and resigned in 1869, when he 
became Dean of Lichfield. 

Rev. A. W. Thorold, M. A., the present vicar, was formerly 
vicar of St. Giles, in which parish he laboured most success- 
fully for the welfare of the inhabitants, by promoting the 
erection of large and handsome school-buil<Ungs in EndeU- 
street. He also originated many agencies in connection with 
the church, so that during the ten years in which he was 
Rector of that pariah he gave an impulse to Christian life and 
work, for which he will long be remembered with gratitude by 
his former parishioners. 

Mr. Thorold (now Canon Thorold) gives every promise of 
great usefulness in his new and important charge. 




The earliest record of any value respecting the moniunents 
in Old St. Pancras Ohurcli and Chnrohyard is that given by 
the Antiquary Weaver,in his work on *'FuneralMonuments." 
He states that there is a monument in the old parish church 
to the memory of Robert Eve and Lawrentia^ his sister, son 
and daughter of Frances and Thomas Eve, Clerk of the 
Crown, in the reign of Edward IV. When Weaver saw it, 
the " portraitures " and the following words remained : 

" Holy Trinitie on God, have mercy on us. Hio jacent Sobertos 
Eve et Lawrentia soror ejus, filia Franeisci Eve filii Thome Eve 
clerici corone Cancellarie Auglira .... Quorum " 

The altar tomb on which this inscription appeared is of 
Furbeck marble, with canopy, being an elliptical arch orna- 
mented with quatrefoils, which once had small brasses at the 
back with three figures or groups, with labels from each, and 
the figure of the Trinity, and three shields of arms above 

There are historical references to members of this family 
of Eve (or Ive) in connection with this parish, proving the 
great antiquity of the family. In 1457 Henry VI. granted 
permission to Thomas Ive to enclose a portion of the high- 
way adjoining to his mansion at Kentish Town. One of the 
leases of the Church Lands, dated 20th June 1650, granted 
unto Thomas Ive 17 acres of that land ; and in the list of 
churchwardens of the parish the name Thomas Ives appears 
in the years 1679 and 1680. The mansion and extensive 
grounds, on the south of Swains-lane, have passed into other 

Over the present vestry door are three small brasses to the 
memoiy of the daughter of Alexander Glover. The following 
inscription is significant. 


** At thiB pues end lyeth baryed Marye Bereaford* the daughter of 
Alexander Glover, of Tottenham Conrte, and the late dear and well-beloYed 
wife of John Bereaford, gentleman, and caster Barester of Staple Inne, who 
departed this life the zzi day of August in the year of oar Lorde God 
1588 ; Whose soul is with God, for she trusted in the Lorde, and reposed 
her salvation wholye in Jesus Christ, in whom is all peace and rest, all 
joye and consolation, all filicitye and salvation, and in whom are all the 
promises. Yea and amen." 

Ferliaps the most striking monument is tliat on the south 
of the chancel| 

" To the pious and sacred memotie of that vertous Gentlewoman Phiia« 
BELPHiA WoLLASTON, sometymc the most dear and loving wife of Thos. 
Wollaston, of London, Esquire." 

It is supposed that the date is of the last century. Mr. 
Cansick has given a photo-lithograph of this monument in his 
^' Epitaphs of Middlesex," which shows the manner of her 
death, the innocent cause lying by her side : 

** A payre of saynts that now in heaven we sitt." 

The lines to her memory represent her as recording her 
own virtues ; but the charitable reader will attribute them 
rightly to her husband, who has recorded his great loss in a 
costly and affecting memorial. 

On the east wall of the chancel is a monument or 

<*Memoriall both of Daniell Clarke, Esq., who left this life most 
comfortablie the last of June 1626, aged 79, having bene Master Cooke to 
Qveene Elizabeth & to King James 29 yeares, called to that place betimes 
for his worthines, beloved there & elsewhere for his honest heart and open 
hand ; and also of Catherine his good and loving wife, who left this life the 
24th of June 1618, aged 50 years." 

Of some quaint lines on the monument, these are the 
concluding ones: 

'* Then sleepe yee happy ashes here, 

Nor let a groane, a sigh, or teere, 
Bisturbe your rest till the glad noyse 
Of the worlde-awakeninge trumpitt's voyce 
Raise you from this dead sleepe, and call 
Your dust from this sad funerall, 
To wed their soules and soule and body bring 
Unto the marriage of the Lambe theire Kinge." 

In the gallery to the north of the chancel is the monument 
of Thomas Doughty, the first owner of the estate on which 
Doughty-street is built. The inscription is in Latin^ and as 
some considerable interest has lately attached to the nftme^ a 
translation is here given. 


Near this Tablet lies 

Formerly of the Parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden, WeBtminster. 

Descended from a noble Family in the County of Norfolk. 

A man of Keen and Fertile Intellect; 

Of Sound and Deliberate Judgment ; 

And of Polished Kanners combined with Kodesty. 

Towards his Familiar Friends he was loving ; 

To his Kindred Beneficent ; 

To the Poor Charitable ; 

And renowned for Justice to alL 

Snatched away prematurely 16th August 1694 in the 39th year of his age. 

The first baronet was created in the year 1620, in the reign 
of James the First. 

Other members of the Doughty family lie in the church- 
yard. Mrs. Frances Doughty, Eelict of George Brownlowe 
Doughty, of Snarford Hall, Lincoln, daughter and joint co- 
heiress of the late Sir Henry Tichbome, of Tichbome. 
Southampton, Bart. She died 20th Aug. 1763, aged 72. 
Her two sons, James and Eobert, also lie in this grave, 
James died on 5th Jan., 1778, aged 44 ; and Bobert died 6th 
Oct., 1794, aged 62. 

The distinctive mark of the cross is on both these memorial 
stones, and the family still adhere to the " old religion.^' 

Here lie' the remains of members of some of the oldest 
nobility of England. The Premier Peerage of Norfolk is 
represented by the Hon. Esme Howard, youngest brother of 
the previous, and grandfather of the then Duke of Norfolk. 
He '' departed this life the 14th of June 1728, in the 83rd 
year of his age.'^ Near the same spot lies the body of 
" Margaret, the entirely beloved wife " of the above named 
Esme. She died on 11 January 1716, in her 70th year. 
Here also lieth the body of the Hon. Eliz. Howard, daughter 
of the above, aged 61, who died Feb. 26th, 1736. 

The granddaughter of a former Marquis of Winchester 
(the Premier Marquis of England), Lady Barbara Webb, was 
buried here. The tomb is one of the handsomest in the 
churchyard. She departed this life on the 28th March 1740. 
''This pious lady was the surviving daughter and sole heiress 
of the late Right Hon. John Lord Belasyse, by his third wife 
the Lady Ann Powlett, daughter of the Right Noble John 
Marquess of Winchester, who, to avoid the expense and 
yanity of a pompous funeral in her family vault, made it her 


death-bed request in compassion to the poor to be priyately 
interred in tms churchyard, and that the repose of her soul 
may be remembered by all good GhristianB/ The remains 
of her son Sir Thomas Webb, aged 60 years on 29th June 
1763, and *'Dame Ann Webb,*' his wife, aged 73 years, on 
7th October 1777, were also deposited in the same vault, and 
on 24th Apra 1797, at the affe of 65, Sir John Webb. Other 
members of this family were Duried under the church. The 
Hon. Eowland Belasyse, who died in 1768, only brother to 
the Earl Fauconberg, whose daughter, Lady Barbara Bame- 
wall, also lies here ; also the Hon. Anne Belasyse, who died 
in March 1731, and her sister, the Hon. Fen^ope Belasyse, 
in April 1760. 

Two daughters of Sir Valentine Brown, of Croft, Lincoln, 
were buried under the church in 1680. They were " both 
maids above the age of fourscore years.'' 

The Hon. Eliza, the Countess of Castlehaven, wife to the 
Earl of Castlehaven, and daughter to Henry liord Arundell, 
in 1743 ; also Thomas Arundell, Count of the most Sacred 
Boman Empire, and uncle to the same Lord Arundell, in 
April 1752 ; of the said Thomas it is recorded, that he was 
an '^ affectionate and indulgent Husband, a faithful Friend, 
an exact paymaster, and always ready to serve the poor.*' 

The wife of John Burke, Esq., author of the " Peerage,'' 
was buried here in 1846, and the stone recording '^ her 
admirable virtues," was repaired by Sir Bernard Burke and 
Serjeant Peter Burke in 1861. 

Mary Cecilia Haviland, widow of Major Haviland, lies 
here, having died on the 6th of March, 1816, in her 46th 
year. She was niece to the celebrated Edmund Burke. 

The wholesale removal of remains from this churchyard, 
a few years since, to an appointed place of re-interment at 
Finchley, induced those who regarded their dead and who 
could bear the expense, to remove the remains where they 
pleased. The remains of Jean Francis Dela Marche, Bishop 
of St. Pol de Leon, in France, who was buried here in 1806, 
were thus removed. A funeral service was performed in the 
Eoman Catholic Church in Clarendon-square, Somers Town, 
over a few bones and a handful of dust — all the mortal 
remains of this once great ecclesiastic, which were conveyed 
to France for re-interment. This eminent character, together 
with many other distinguised men and women, found refuge 



in England during the Bevolution in France. He was one 
of those who deserved better treatment than he received 
at the hands of the Revolutionary Government, but no dis- 
crimination was then possible. While exercising his office 
of a bishop at St. Pol de Leon he expended two-thirds of his 
income for the advantage of his diocese and the relief of the 
poor, besides founding a seminary of learning. When he 
found a home in England in 1791, his benevolent disposition 
led him to share his slender income among his countrymen, 
who in ffreat numbers sought shelter in this country. A 
great influx of the French clergy in 1792 led him to give them 
counsel as to their conduct here, and imposed upon him great 
labour. In visiting the sick, consoling the dejected, and 
giving advice to all who consulted him, he was looked up to 
as a guardian angel sent by Providence for the alleviation of 
their sufferings. He distributed an animated address to the 
English nation, expressive of his appreciation of the kindness 
shown towards his countrymen. No wonder that such a man 
should have been honoured with the friendship of the wise 
and good in his day. After spending a summer at Stowe he 
returned in great debihty to his lodgings in Queen-street, 
Bloomsbury, where he died in November 1806, in his 77th 
year. The epitaph, in Latin, on his monument was written 
by the Marquis of Buckingham. 

Amongst the remains of the multitude of those who are 
undistinguished by any memorial lie those of a Turkish 
Ambassador to this country, who was interred in the year 
1811. In an old newspaper of that day it is recorded, that 
" On Monday morning, about 9 o'clock, the remains of the 
late Turkish Ambassador to this country were interred in the 
burial ground of St. Pancras. The procession consisted of a 
hearse containing the body covered with white satin, which 
was followed by his Excellency's private carriage and two 
mourning coaches, in which were the late ambassador's 
attendants. On arriving at the ground, the body was taken 
out of a white deal shell which contained it, and according 
to the Mahommedan custom, was wrapped in rich robes and 
thrown into the grave, and immediately after a large stone 
with a Mahommedan incription on it, nearly the size of the 
body, was laid upon it, and after some other Mahommedan 
ceremonies had been gone through the attendants left the 
^round« The procession on its way to the churchyard 


galloped nearly all the way. The grave was dug in an 
obscure part of the burial ground/' 

Amongst the patriots whose remains lie here, a distinguished 
place should be given to the Rev. Arthur O'Leary, who died 
on 2nd January 1802, aged 72. He was a native of Cork, 
and was educated at St. Omers. While he was chaplain to a 
French regiment he refused to assist in enlisting the subjects 
of his own king into a forei gn regiment, and was in consequence 
dismissed from his chaplaincy. On his return to Ireland 
he became conspicuous by delivering addresses against the 
doctrine of the temporal power of the Pope. He also ex- 
horted his countrymen to a peaceable demeanour during the 
insurrection at Munster, in 1787, and was ultimately rewarded 
by a pension. He lived for many years in London, and was 
a priest at the Eoman Catholic cnurch in Soho-square. He 
was highly esteemed for his amiable manners, and admired 
•for his eloquence in the pulpit. The Earl of Moira erected 
the monument to his memory in this churchyard at his sole 
expense, as a token of his lordship's esteem for the virtues 
and talents of the late venerable Father O'Leary, The tomb 
was repaired by public subscription in December 1851. The 
inscription states that he was 

, ^* A man eminently gifted by nature and learning ; he employed those 
talents in promoting the glory of God, and the good of every fellow crea- 
ture without distinction, for he prayed, wept, and felt for all. Of him it 
may be truly said, that his life was the best comment on his writings : 
As the benevolence which they breathe was enlivened and recommended by 
his example, even in the moment when he was called to receive the re- 
ward of both/* 

Amongst diplomatists, few were better known or more 
respected in their day than was Josephus Francis Xavier De 
Haslang, Count of the Holy Roman Empire. He died 29th 
May 1783, in his 83rd year, having resided in this country 
44 years. His funeral was attended by the whole Diplomatic 
Corps. His epitaph enumerates bis various titles, and con- 
cludes as follows : 

" Having lived in the practice of every social virtue, alter a Christian 
preparation, he resigned his soul into the hands of his Creator, regretted 
by our amiable Sovereign, and lamented by all who knew him. May he 
rest in peace." 

Ten years afterwards the body of His Excellency Count 
Phillipo Nupumecino Fontanse, Ambassador from Sardinia to 
Spain^ was deposited here. He died 6th Dec. 1793; aged 52, 



Surroimded by many tombs erected in memory of dis- 
tinguisbed cbaracters is that of Paschalis de Paoli, the Corsi- 
oan Garibaldi of his day. The French were acting then the 
same part they did in more recent times in Italy. Led by 
young Paoli, the Corsicans struggled bravely to regain their 
freedom from what they deemed to be a tyrannical yoke, but 
they were eventually compelled to submit, and the exiled 
Paoli found an asylum in this land of freedom. The inscription 
on his tomb records the high esteem in which he was held 
for his many virtues by George the Third and all classes of 
the people of England. He died in London, February 1807, 
in his 82nd year. 

By the side of Paoli^s monument is that of Francis Pietri 
Fozano ; the inscription on which describes him as 

A native of the Island of Corsica, and one of the deputies for that 
country on the occagion of its union with Great Britain in 1794, under the 
sovereignty of his then Majesty King George the Third. For many years 
subsequently to his first arrival in England he mixed in the higher circles 
of society, enjoying the esteem of numerous friends, to which his talents 
and acquirements most justly entitled him, but falling afterwards into a 
state of mental depression, he abandoned himself to a hopeless indifference, 
and passed the latter portion of his life in entire seclusion from the world. 
He died Sept. 7th, 1838, aged 90 years, and was buried, according to a wish 
which he had long before expressed, in a grave adjoining that of bis illus- 
trious countryman, the celebrated Paoli. 

Let us now look at the epitaph of one of our own reformers, 
that of Maurice Margoret. '' He was chosen a delegate from 
the London Corresponding Society to the British Convention^ 
to promote a just Eeform of the Commons House of Parliament, 
and although his conduct in that assembly was able, legal, and 
upright, still he was, under the ministry of William Pitt, in 
1794, condemned by the Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh to 
14 years transportation to New South Wales," in company 
with Fitzgerald, Muir, Palmer, and Skirviage. After enduring 
his " unparalleled sufferings " with " the magnanimitjr of 
conscious rectitude and unsullied honour, he alone survived, 
and returned to his native land in 1810, injured in health, 
ruined in fortune, yet still esteemed and revered by his en- 
lightened fellow-citizens,^' dying in 1815, in his 65th year. 
The same tablet records the death of his wife. . " She heroically 
participated in all the misfortunes of her husband, and during 
his unmerited exile solaced him with thetenderest affection.^' 
The sentiments now held by moderate politicians were judged 
sixty or seventy years ago as tending to anarchy and in* 


fidelity. I7o more oonvincing proof could be offered of the 
toleration we now enjoy ; but we sbonld look with veneration 
upon the men of principle of past days who dared to be 
singular, and who paid the price in imprisonment and loss of 
all things. 

Two brothers lie here who served their country in the 
Eoyal Navy. Captain Thomas Cole, who " lost his leg in 
gallantly storming a battery at Martinique, in 1804, being 
then First Lieutenant of His Majesty's Ship Blenheim, of 
74 Guns.'^ He died in 1822, aged 40 ; also his brother 
'' Lieutenant Eichard Cole, of the H. C. Ship Sibrald, who 
died May 1832, aged 40." " Captain Thomas Miles, R. N., 
died March 1822, aged 64.'' 

A monogram for a once noted name, Obadiah Walker, and 
the date of his death, 31st January 1699, at the ripe age of 86, 
with the inscription, in Latin, " through good report, and 
^ through evil report," is suggestive of the troublous times in 
* which he lived. Had the will of such men as he prevailed, 
the freedom of mind and action we now enjoy would not have 
been known. He was born in the reign of James I., and 
when Charles I. reigned he was being educated at University 
College, Oxford, and ultimately became Master of that 
College ; but in 1648 he was expelled for his open opposition 
to the Reformed Religion. He was reinstated when Charles 
II. ascended the throne, though complained of in the House 
of Commons in 1678 and again in 1679 ; but when James IL 
succeeded, Walker found in that sovereign a too ready 
supporter of his Eomish tendencies, for he obtained, after a 
visit to the sovereign, letters patent enabling him to perform 
mass in a chapel ]ie had opened in the college, and other 
letters enabling him to print tracts and other works attacking 
the Reformation. Thus he rendered himself a marked man. 
When the people could no longer tolerate the unconstitutional 
conduct of King James, who had openly commenced a 
negociation with the Pope for restoring Roman Catholicism, 
and when a swarm of monks and priests overran the country, 
the Prince of Orange was gladly welcomed to redress these 
grievances ; and the parliament decided that King James, by 
the advice of Jesuits and others, had violated fundamental 
laws, had forfeited the Government, and by his retreat to 
France, had left the Crown vacant. The famous Bill of 
Rights, secured by the FarU^ment on th^ accession of WiUif^m 


and Mary, prevented such ecclesiastics as Obadiah Walker 
from exercising their influence, as heads of colleges, to subvert 
the Protestant religion, and he was accordingly ejected. He 
was committed to the Tower, but after being examined before 
the House of Commons, when he avowed that he was always 
a Catholic, he was eventually set at liberty. He became poor 
in his old age, and was chiefly dependant upon Dr. Eadclifle, 
who had formerly been his pupil : the Doctor also defrayed 
the expense of his burial in this churchyard, which was then 
and long after the common place of interment of London 
Boman Catholics of the upper classes. His grave is near 
that of Abraham Woodhead, who died in 1678, in his 
70th year. Walker at one time assisted him in his 
Boman Catholic school at Hoxton. They were both York- 
shiremen, and both lived only to promote the ** old religion" 
by their writings in its defence. It is generally believed that 
that once popular book *' The whole Duty of Man " was their 
joint production. " Requiescat in pace/' 

The learned divine. Dr. John Ernest Grabe, editor of the 
" Septuagint/' was interred in this churchyard Nov. 9, 1711, 
The study of the writings of the Fathers led him to question 
the validity of ordination in the Lutheran Church, in which 
he had been brought up. He, therefore, by the recommend- 
ations of friends came to England ; and William the Third 
conferred upon him a pension of £100 a year to enable him to 
pursue his studiea. He was ordained in the English Church, 
and published several works on the writings of the Fathers ; 
but he seemed to have more sympathy with the Eoman 
Catholic doctrines, for he advocated the use of prayers for the 
souls of the dead ; anointing the sick with oil ; confession 
and sacerdotal absolution ; and he lamented that the Reformed 
Church had discarded many primitive customs retained in the 
Catholic Church. His learning and character secured for 
him a monument in Westminster Abbey. 

The remains of Edward Ward, the author of *^ The London 
Spy,^' lie here. He died June 20th, 1721. He was familiarly 
known as Ned Ward. At one time he kept a coflee house 
in Moorflelds, and, in his latter days, a punch-house in 
Fulwood's Rents, near Gray's Inn, in which he died. 

No greater changes have taken place during recent years 
than in regard to political and religious toleration. The tone 
of the literature of the past and the begininng of the present 



centuries is embittered with a spirit of intolerance unknown, 
in the present day. As we walk through this old churchyard, 
and read, and in some instances decipher, the names of the 
men and women of the past; mingled emotions fill our mind. 
Let us stop at the grave of poor Mary "Wollstonecraft Godwin. 
Misunderstood in her own day, we have leamt since then to 
estimate more fairly her mistaken, perhaps grievous errors. 
Her husUand, William Godwin, published a small memoir of 
her, which is marked by simplicity and truth. He said of 
her — '' This light was lent to me for a very short period, and 
is now extinguished for ever." Mary WoUstonecraft's early 
years were embittered by despotic treatment on the part of her 
father, who appears to have been a man of no judgment in the 
management of a family, and of a most ungovernable temper. 
*^ The despotism of her education," says Mr. Godwin, cost her 
many a heart-ache. She was not formed to be the contented 
and unresisting subject of a despot ; but I have heard her 
remark, more than once, that when she felt she had done 
wrong, the reproof or chastisement of her mother, instead of 
being a terror to her, was the only thing capable of reconciling 
her to herself. The blows of her father, on the contrary, 
which were the mere exhibitions of a passionate temper, 
instead of humbling her roused her indignation.'* Of ex- 
quisite sensitiveness of disposition, and also of great energy 
of character, it is not surprising that she should quit the 
parental roof. This she did at the age of sixteen. She first 
went to live as companion to a lady at Bath, and a few 
years afterwards, in concert with two sisters, opened a day- 
school at Islington, and very shdrtly after removed to 
Newington Green, Mr. Godwin considered her pre-eminently 
fitted for the teaching of children. A few years passed, and 
she became a governess in the family of Lord Kingsborouffh. 
About the year 1786 she published a pamphlet entitled 
" Thoughts on the Education of Daughters." In 1787, she 
went to London with the view of supporting herself by 
authorship. This she continued for three years, writing 
small works of fiction, and translations and abridgments of 
several valuable works. The profits of her pen enabled her 
to aid many members of her family. She helped to educate 
two young sisters, put two of her brothers out in the world, 
and greatly assisted her father, who was at this time much 
embarrassed. This continued for three years, unattended by 


fame. But soon she became known to the public when she 
wrote a reply to Burke's '* Beflections on the French Revo- 
lution/' and also by her "Vindication of the Rights of 
Woman/' which latter work, when it appeared in 1791, 
brought her into public notoriety. . She then visited France, 
and remained in JParis three years. At that time a bitter 
disappointment through an unfortunate acquaintance, led her 
to make two attempts at self-destruction. In 1796, Mary 
Woolstonecraft became acquainted with William Godwin, 
and after six months they were married, but she died at their 
residence in the Polygon, Somers Town, on the 10th Septem- 
ber 1797, in her 39th year, in giving birth to a daughter, 
who ultimately became Mrs. Shelley, the gifted wife of the 

The monument to her memory, and that of her husband 
William Godwin, is one of the few in good condition ; is 
almost solitary, and therefore easily found. Godwin died 
April 7th, 1886, aged 80, surviving his first wife 39 years. 
His second wife, Mary Jane, died June 17th, 1841, aged 75 

Passing under an arch of the Midland Line, we come to the 
grave of John Walker. The Athenaeum of Augfust 28th, 
1869, said : ** We have directed the attention of poets to the 
grave of Grray : we now direct that of persons interested in 
the science of language to that of Walker, the lexicographer, 
in Old St. Pancras Churchyard. The headstone is in a 
dilapidated state ; but, dictionary-makers might like to put 
it straight and bring out the letters. But what is not dilapi- 
dated in that ancient churchyard ? and where is nobler dust 
to be found P" Desecration and '^ dilapidation '^ have dis- 
graced Old St. Pancras Churchyard for some years. If the 
dust of poets, philosophers, divines, and even members of 
some of the most ancient nobility lying here in vain calls for 
pious regard, it is not to be wondered at that the grave of a 
<< lezicographer '^ should lie unheeded. On Sunday, May 
5th, 1872, the description of Walker's grave given in the 
Atheneem three years before still applied. The date, 1805, 
was not legible, and the endeavour to ascertain it from the 
footetone only brought out the fact that that stone belonged 
to some other gravel The most enduring mommient, however, 
of John Walker is to be found in his works, especially in his 
Pronouncing Dictionary. His character for '^ piety and 
virtue '^ w^ f^ blessing to his neighbours and numerous 



friends whilst he lived. The inscription on the stone states : — 

** Here lie the remains 

John Walker; 

Author of the *f Pronouncing Dictionary of 

The English Language/' 

And other valuable Works on 

Grammar and Elocution, 

bf which he was for many yean 

A yerv distinguished Professor. 

He closed a life-devoted to piety and virtue 

On the 1st August 1805> 

Aged 75." 

To wander amongst these memorials of the men and women 
of former days is calculated to awaken reflection. Stopping 
at the stone beside the church door, we may learn a lesson in 
patience from "William "WooUett, the celebrated engraver 
to King George the Third. His works are still highly es- 
teemed. It is recorded of him that he was a man of admir- 
able character and amiable disposition. When he had finished 
the plate of the Battle of La Hogae, he took a proof to 
Benjamin West, for his inspection ; at first the great painter 
expressed himself perfectly satisfied with the plate, but on 
closer inspection he remarked that alteration and addition of 
colour would improve the effect, observing that it was of no 
great consequence. ** How long will it take you, Mr 
WooUett P " said the President. ** Oh, about three or four 
months," replied the engraver ; " and the patient creature," 
said West, ** went through the additional labour without a 

The following inscription on the stone is now difficult to 
decipher : — 

" William WooUett, Engraver to His Majesty, was born at Maidstone, 
in Kent, 15 August 1735. He died the 23rd, and was interred in this 
place on the 28th of May 1785. Elizabeth WooUett, widow uf the above, 
died December 16th, 1819, aged 73 years." 

The following lines, in pencil, were written on the tomb, 
but are not now to be seen : 

" Here WooUett rests, expecting to be sav'd ; 
He graved well, but is not weU engrav'd." 

It is supposed that these lines suggested a public subscrip- 
tion for a monument in Westipinster Abbey ; but such men 
as Benjamin West and Alderman Boydell needed no such 
prompting, and they were amongst the most liberal con- 
tributors to the fund for its erectiop. In the cloisters of tiie 


Abbey, Woollett's monument will be found, with the follow- 
ing description of the sculpture, after the name and dates of 
birth and death : 

'' The Genius of EDgraying handing down to Posterity the works of 
Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture : Whilst Fame is distributing them 
over the four Quarters of the Glpbe. " 

Here lie the remains of some who in their day contributed 
to the amusement and delight of their contemporaries. Peter 
Pasqualino, said to be the first who made the yioloncello 
fashionable in this country in the year 1740, was buried here 
in 1766. Stephen Paxton, also a performer on the violoncello, 
and a composer of vocal and instrumental music, died in 
1787, aged 62. John Danby, who died in 1798, aged 41, has 
his merits and virtues recorded in poetry : 

*' Reader, if excellence in Music's art, 
By turns to sadden, or to cheer the heart ; 
Whether by playful catch, by serious glee, 
Or the more solemn canon's harmony ; 
If genius such as that can raise a sigh, 
Or draw the trickling tribute from thine eye ; — 
Pause o'er this spot, which now contains the clay 
Of him in whom those talents lately Jay. 
The spirit fled to join its native skies, 
Here all that now remain of Danby lies. 
Rest, much respected, much lamented earth. 
Remnant not more of Science than of Worth : 
And tho* thy Works have wrought a better Fame, 
This record is but justice to thy Name.'' 


The monument to Mrs. Isabella Mills deserves notice. She 
was better known as Miss Burchell when she " charmed the 
public ear '' by her voice. She died in 1 802, at the age of 67. 
The inscription to her memory well sets forth her abilities when 
on earth, and suitably prays for their exercise ** among the 
angelic choir." 

"And art thou then in awful silence here. 
Whose voice so oft has charmed the public ear; 
Who, with thy simple notes could strike the heart 
Beyond the utmost skill of laboured art. 
0, may the Power who gave the dulcet strain 
And, pitying, rescued thee from earthly pain, 
Exalt thy spirit, touched with hallowed fire. 
To hymn'Iiis praise among the angelic choir." 

The following epitaph is also interesting ; sixty years ago 
the loss of such a singer was no doubt ** severely felt " by the 
frequenterp of " OrP'torios/' 

p2 ^ 


'' Sacred to the memory of Mr. Samnel Harriaoiii who to a moet 
pleauDg and melodiouB voice added a very extensive knowledge and cor- 
rect judgment in the science of Music. The chaste style, refined taste, 
and impressive manner with which be delivered the beautiful compositions 
of Handel, will cause his loss to be severely felt and lamented by the 
Admirers of Sacred Music : and the many amiable quulities which adorned 
his character in private life will long endear his memory to his afifeo- 
tionate Relatives and numerous Friends. He was bom 8th Septemberi 
1760, and died 25th June 1812. 

*< 'Twas His celestial pleasure to impart. 

Judgment with Taste, and Scienoe to combine, 
Waking with Seraph voice and matchless art, 

Immortal Handel's harmony divine. 
Peace, gentle spirit, to thy loved remains ! 

Let no rude sounds thy halcyon grave annoy, 
But gentle airs and soft melodious strains. 

Attend thy passage to the realms of Joy.'* 

Amongst actresses, " Dame Mary Slingsby," widow of Sir 
Henry Slingsby, was a great favourite at the Theatre Royal in 
her day. She performed characters principally in Dryden's 
and Lee*s plays. She was ''buried March 1, 1693-4." . 

Jeremy Collier was buried here on 29 April 1726, having 
died on the 26th of the same month, in the 76th year of his age. 
In the early part of his life, he was Rector of Ampton, in 
Suffolk, and came to London in 1685, and was soon after 
appointedlecturer at Gray's Inn. lie led a somewhat turbulent 
life, taking the side of Roman Catholicism when King James 
the second was plotting to restore the power of the Popedom 
in England. He was twice imprisoned for his antagonism to 
the new Government when William of Orange reigned, and 
was under the ban of outlawry to the day of his death. Ho 
was more successful in his attack upon the immoralities of the 
stage ; and though he became involved in a controversv with 
Congreve and other wits of his day, he had the satisfaction 
of seeing the licentiousness checked which Charles the Second 
had introduced. He published several works of a contro- 
versial nature, and also a translation of Moreri's Great 

Amongst those who accompanied James the Second in his 
exile' was Bevil Higgons, a younger son of Sir Thomas 
Higgons. He was cniefly known from his book written in 
opposition to the views oi Bishop Burnet in the History of 
his Times. He was buried in this churchyard, the chosen 
place of Roman Catholics, on March 6, 1735. 

A noted character in his day was Abraham Langford, as 
auctioneer and dramatic writer. He was of '' St. Fftuf, Covent 


Garden, and died 18th September 1774, aged 63. The fol- 
lowing lines are on both sides of his tomb : — 

** His spring of life was such it should have been, 
Adroit and gay, unvexed by care or spleen ; 
His Bummer's manhood open, fresh, and fair; 
His virtue strict) his manners debonnaire; 
His autumn rich with Wisdom's goodly fruit, 
Which every varied appetite might suit. 
In polished circles dignified with ease, 
And less desirous to be pleas'd than please. 
Grave with the serious ; merry with the gay ; 
Warm to advise, yet willing to obey. 
True to the fond affections of the heart, 
He play'd the friend's, the husband's, parent's part. 
What needs there more to eternise his fame ? 
What monument more lasting than his name ? " 

Here also rest the remains of Packer, the Comedian, said 
to have performed 4,852 times. 

In the memorial lines to Mrs. Anne Cooper, who departed 
this life November 1759, her daughter expresses her intense 
domestic affection : 

"Ah! shade revered, this frail memorial take 
'Tls all, alas ! thy sorrowing child can make : 
On this faint stone to mark thy parent worth, 
And claim the spot that holds thy sainted earth. 

This day-cold shrine, the corpse enshrouded here, 
This holy hillock bath'd with many a tear ; 
These k6dred flowers that o'er thy bosom grow, 
Fed by the precious dust that lies below ; 

E'en these rude branches that embrace thy head, 
And the green sod that forms thy sacred ied. 
Are richer, dearer to this filial heart. 
Than all the monuments of proudest art. 

Yet, yet a little, and thy child shall come 

To join a mother in this silent tomb, 

This only spot of all the world is mine. 

And soon my dust, sweet shade, shall mix with thine." 

The reference in these lines to the " rude branches " and 
the '* green sod " are suggestive of the rural aspect of this 
churchyard at that time. Thirty-three years after (in 1792) 
an Act was passed "for providing an additional bur3ring- 
ground for the use of the parish of St. Pancras ; and for 
shutting up the present footpath leading through the church- 
yard, and making a commodious one in lieu thereof." 

The epitaph on John Evans, who died, Jan. 16, 1811, aged 
60, is very independent in tone, and practical ; 


'*Farewel]j vain world, I know enough of thee, 
And now am careleas what thon say'st of me ; 
Thy smile I court not, nor thy frowns I fear ; 
My cares are paas'd ; my head lies quiet here. 
What faults yon saw in me take care to shun. 
And look at home, enough there's to be done." 

" Mr. and Mrs. Dastis " should have taken counsel of their 
friends before they proclaimed their uncontrollable grief at 
the loss of their still-bom son, though, he was the first-bom, 
on 16th Sept. 1836 : 

" ^9 7^^ vl^o know what the affection of parents is 
Pity the unhappy Mr. and Mrs. Q. Dastis, 
Who will regret aU their life 
The loss of their first-bom child. 

Beautiful for its simplicity and naturalness is the following : 

'* Sacred to the memory of Isaac Nagle, musician of the 1st Life Guards, 
who died Nov. 24th, 1839, in the 16th year of his age. In affectionate 
remembrance of a beloved Brother, by his Sister." 

The grief of Mr. John Pilch, in 1804, for the loss of his 
wife, Mrs. Mary Pilch, and four of their children, must have 
beenof no ordinary kind, yet it can scarcely produce gravity 
of mind to read the lines placed on the stone by the survivor : 

" Yon gazing Throng, come take a look, 
My History sure 'twould swell a book.*' 

The memory of such a man as Mr. WiUiam Butherford is 
worth preserving. He was for "e30 years a Housekeeper 
in this parish," till his death in 1832, having attained the 
mature age of 70 years. 

''An honest, sober, steady man, 
Boast more, ye great ones, if ye can." 

Such men are the backbone and glorv of any parish. 

Under one of the arches of the Midland Railway, which 
now runs through this churchyard, is a stone which is placed 
against a tomb, though it forms no part of it. On this stone 
is an inscription to the memory of *^ Mr. Samuel Somers, 
of Skinners-street, Somers Town, who departed this life 
November 29th, 1834, aged 50 years." Those who remember 
"Sam Somers" the butcher, will wonder what " honours'' 
availed him here, though they may sincerely join in the hope 
indulged for his heavenly felicity, as expressed in the follow- 
ing lines on the stone : 

'* What honours here can aught avail 7 
The spirit's fled, then why bewail ? 
Oh, let us hope through Mercy strong, 
£re this he's joined the heavenly throng." 


When Somers was on his death-bed, he was urged *oj the 
clergyman who visited him to seek mercy of God who is 
ready to pardon all who come to Him through Jesus Christ ; 
" I have no fear of God/' he replied ; '^ but it is the Devil I 
fear." The reply was characteristic of that eccentric man. 

The following quaint epitaph is quoted from an old news- 
paper, and it is stated to have been copied from a stone in 
this churchyard^ but not to be found there now :-^ 

** Underneathe xhjB Btone dotb lye 
The body of Mr Humphrie 
Jones, who was of late 
By trade a plate- 
Worker in Barbicanne ; 
Well known to be a good manne 
By all his Friends and Neighbours toe 
And paid every bodie their due. 
He died in the yeare 1737, 
Aug. 4th, aged 80. 
His soul we hope's in heaven." 

Many physicians and surgeons lie here ; Dr. James Robins, 
who died at Kentish Town in October 1800, and Jacob 
William Robins, Surgeon, his son, who died at Worthing in 
1849. Andrew Marshall, Esq., who ** practised for many 
years as an eminent Physician in London, died in 1813. Mr. 
Samuel Stephens TJppour, who was upwards of 20 years sur- 
geon to this parish, died December 1820, aged 61. A student 
of medicine, Sebastian Carvalho, lies here, who died in 1822, 
Michael Kenny, m.d,, late Surgeon in the army, died Jan- 
uary 1824, in his 30th year. Of Peter Kenny,. m.d., of 
Waterford, who died in London, October 1822, aged 41, it 
is said, he was ** a warm friend, a sterling patriot, an upright 
man. He loved and served his country with a steadfast and 
ardent zeal, and illustrated in his own person many of her 
brightest qualities. His friends, joining to their esteem for 
the public their imceasing affection for the private man, have 
raised this monimient." Daniel McDonald, m.d., died in 
1828, in his 2l8t year. Dr. George Bruce, in 1830, aged 61 
years. Dr. Michael Short, in 1 83 1 , aged 57. James Holmes, 
Esq., " Surgeon in His Majesty's Navy,'* died in 1832, in the 
48th year of his age. Mr. John Pitt Wiles, Surgeon, late of 
Kentish Town, 1833, in his 31st year. Richard H. Keurtly, 
M.D., in 1832, aged 78 years, "beloved, respected, and 
esteemed by all w^o knew him. This stone was erected by 
a friend.^' 


** Fnder the belfry of the old church was interred priyatetyy 
in a grave 14 feet deep^ the. body of Earl Ferrers, executed 
at Tyburn in 1760/' says John Timbs in his *^ Curiosities of 
London/' Laurence Earl Ferrers, says Smollett, was a noble* 
man of a violent spirit, who had committed many outrages, 
and, in the opinion of all who knew him^ had given manifold 
proofs of insanity, at length perpetrated a murder, which 
subjected him to the cognizance of justice. His deportment 
to his lady was so brutal, that application had been made to 
the House of Peers, and a separation effected by act of Par- 
liament. Trustees were nominated ; and one Mr. Johnson 
was appointed receiver of the estates, at the Earl's own 
request. The conduct of Johnson, in the course of his steward- 
ship, gave umbrage to Lord Ferrers, whose disposition was 
equally jealous and vindictive. Fired with suspicions as to 
Johnsons collusion with his own family against his interests, 
he gave Johnson notice to quit the farm on the estate ; but 
finding that the trustees had granted a lease of it, the Earl 
determined to gratify his revenge by assassination. He 
appointed a day for the doomed man to meet him in a room 
at his house at Leicester, and having commended him to 
implore heaven's mercy, on bis knees, shot him with a pistol 
whilst in that attitude. He lingered for some days till his 
I death. In the meanwhile the Earl drank spirits immoderately, 
which served to infiame his hatred still more, and then he 
insuKed him with the most opprobrious language, and 
threatened to shoot him through the head, even 'vnien the 
poor man was in extremity. The Earl was' arrested by armed 
men, and conveyed to London, and then committed to the 
Tower. The circumstance of this murder appeared so cruel 
and deliberate that the people cried aloud for vengeance, and 
the government gave up the offender to the justice of his 
country. He was tried in state in Westminster Hall in the 
midst of an immense concourse of people, including many 
foreigners who were wonderfully struck with the magnificence 
and solemnity of the tribunal. The Earl pleaded insanity. 
Lunacy was proved to have been a familj taint. The trial was 
continued for two days, and on the third the Lord Steward 
Henley, after making a short speech touching the heinous 
natui;e of the offence, pronounced the same sentence of death 
upon the Earl which malefactors of the lowest class undergo ; 
" that from the Tower he should be led, on the Monday 
following, to the common place of execution, there to be 


hanged by the neck, and his body be afterwards dissected.'' 
This last part of the sentence seemed to shock ,the criminal 
extremely. A respite of a month was granted him to settle 
his temporal and spiritual concerns. On the day of the 
execution, he appeared gaily dressed in a light coloured suit 
of clothes, embroidered with silveTi and was conveyed to 
Tyburn in his own landau, and the chaplain of the Tower, 
followed by the chariots of the Sheriffs/ a mourning coach 
and six filled with his friends, and a hearse for the con- 
veyance of his body. He was guarded by a posse of constables, 
a party of horse grenadiers, and a detachment of infantry. 
To Mr. Sheriff Ycullant, who attended him in the landau, he 
took notice of the vast multitudes which crowded around him, 
brought thither he supposed to see a nobleman hanged. He 
had applied by letter to the king that he might be permitted 
to die in the Tower, where the Earl of Essex, one of his an- 
cestors, had been beheaded in the reign of Elizabeth. He 
relied upon his request being granted as he had the honour 
to quarter part of his Majesty's arms. He expressed some 
displeasure at being executed as a common felon, exposed to 
the eyes of such a multitude. On his arrival at Tyburn, 
he aacended the scaffold with a firm step and undaunted 
countenance. He refused to join the chaplain in his de- 
votions, but kneeling with him on black cushions, he repeated 
the Lord^s Prayer, which he said he always admired, and 
added with great energy, " Lord, forgive me all my errors ; 
pardon all my sins." 

The sentence was fully carried out, and his body after dissec- 
tion was privately interred under the belfry of this church ; 
but when the tower was altered, there was no evidence dis- 
covered of the fact. 

The remains of the notorious Joseph Wall, governor of the 
Island of Goree, in the West Indies, were interred here in 
January 1802. The crime for which he was executed aroused 
the public indignation, and none were found to pity him, who 
had himself shown no mercy. While Governor, and previous 
to his departure for England in 1782, a soldier, Benjamin 
Armstrong, was spokesman on behalf of 300 men of the 
African corps, who respectfully requested that they might 
receive money that had been stopped from their pay on 
account of restrictions in food they had endured when pro- 
visions had ran short. The Governor in a rage ordered 
Armstrong to be lashed to a six-pounder gun-carriage, and 


in the presence of his 300 comrades he received 800 
lashes with a rope nearly an inch in circumference. Eveiy 
25 lashes were given by a fresh stalwart slave, and if they at 
all relaxed, Wall shouted *' Lay on, you black beasts, or I'll 
lay on you ; cut him to the heart ; cut his liver out.'' The 
poor fellow was able at the end of his punishment to walk to 
the hospital^ but died five days after the Governor left for 
England. In 1784 he was arrested at Bath, but escaped at 
Heading to France. In 1797, Wall returned to England, 
and in 1801 was living in Upper Thomleigh Street, Bedford 
Square, when he wrote to Lord Pelham, Secretary of State, 
announcing his willingness to be tried. He was found guilty 
and sentenced to death, which he suffered on 28th January 
1802. In Mr. J. T. Smith's '' Book for a Rainy Day," the 
writer describes a visit he paid to a public-house in Hatton 
Garden, where Dr. Ford, the Ordinary of Newgate, smoked 
his pipe under a superb masonic chair, surrounded by about 
a hundred favoured associates. He was thus introduced to 
the Ordinary, and by him introduced the next morning to 
Newgate. He describes the prisoner Wall as '^ Death's 
coimterfeit, tall, shrivelled, and pale ; and his soul shot so 
piercingly through the port-holes of his head, that the first 

glance of him nearly terrified me His hands were 

clasped, and he was truly penitent. . . . The Doctor questioned 
the Governor as to what kind of men he had at Goree ; * Sir,' 
he said, 'they sent me the very riff-raff.' The poor soul 
then joined the Doctor in prayer ; and never did I witness 
more contrition at any condemned sermon than he then 
evinqed." The rope that had hanged Governor Wall was 
afterwards sold by the hangman's yeoman for Is. an inch ! 
The body, after dissection, was given up to the relatives for 
interment, upon payment of fifty guineas to a philanthropic 

Madame Charlotte Potoka, a native of Poland, was released 
by death from the Fleet Prison where she was confined as a 
debtor, and she was buried here on August 1, 1785, at the 
age of 82. 

True, indeed, it is that the grave knows no distinctions ; 
the remains of the evil and the good often lie side by side. 
Jonathan Wild was buried here on May 25th, 1725, but he 
was not allowed to remain, for a few nights afterwards the 
*' resurrection men,^' as they were termed, exhumed his body, 
it was supposed, for the purpose of dissection. 


At last we come to a perfect man, Denis Molonyi esq. He 
departed this life^ xinmarried, the 11th Dec. 1726, being the 
77th year of his age, ^' having allways lived faithful! to God, 
King, and country." 

The memory of il^orris Leivesley, esq., who was for 64 
years the ** Faithful and zealous Secretary of the Foundling 
Hospital," is here recorded. He was bom in the city of 
Lincoln in Jan. 1776, and died Sept. 23, 1849, "beloved 
and respected by his family, and by them deeply lamented.'' 
A few months after this interment, the burial-ground was 
closed by Act of Parliament. 

There are tributes here to the memory of faithful servants, 
proving that they also had good and appreciative masters : — 

Thomas Cunstable, of the county of Norfolk, who 

** Lived in the noble family of his Grace the Duke of Norfolk thirty- 
nine years, and died in his Grace's service. A man of exemplary piety and 
charity, who departed this life July 2, 1722, in the 65th year of his age.'* 

'*' In testimony of the long and faithful services of Christophe Antoine, 
a Dative of France, an honest, zealous, grateful and pious man, who died 
at Holland House, Kensington, Nov. 1812, in the 55th year of his age. 
This stone is erected over his mortal remains, which, in compliance with 
his wishes, are deposited near those of the Countess of Gand, his former 
mistress, whose memory he cherished for many years after her decease, 
having followed her fortunes in exile, and sacrificed to his sense of gratitude 
and duty the savings of his industry, the prospect of competence and ease, 
and the hopes of worldly advancement." 

" This stone is erected by Lord Viscount Nevill, of Park Square, 
Begent's Park, over the remains of George Brown, of Bergh Apton, Nor- 
folk, who lived in his service as Groom 13 years, and died May 7th, 1832, 
aged 24 years. 

** Should here thy heedless footsteps bend, 
Turn not in haste away ; 
A kinder husband, better friend. 
Death never made his prey." 

Here we have a tribute to the virtues of Mary Walker, 

** Who was for upwards of thirty years a faithful servant in the Work- 
house of this parish, and by her kind and humane attention to the inmates 
of that establishment she gained respect from all who knew her." 

This excellent woman was, no doubt, the matron of the 
workhouse. For twelve y«ars she exercised jher *• kind and 
humane " offices in the old infirmary and houses which then 
stood where ^'Gowing's Forge" is now; and when the 
present workhouse was erected she was retained to minister 
as an angel of mercy to the inmates, winning the respect and 
confidence of the guardians, or Directors as they were then . 
called, till her death on Sept. 11^ 1827, in the 50th year of 
her age. 



When the miryiving friends of '^ Nicholas Power, Esq., 
late of Queen Square/' deposited his remarosin this church- 
yard on 20th March ISSO^ and lovingly said^ — as recorded 
on this ston( 

** Soft be thy rest, no wailisg voice Bhall come 
To break the nlence of thy peaceful home," 

they Kttle thought that forty years afterwards two railways 
would pass through this '^peaceful home/' and that the 
shriek of the railway whistle would ''break the silence '' of 
the hallowed spot. Such an incongruity would have been 
thought impossible. 




Adjoining the old churchyard is the Saint Giles-in-the- 
Fields Cemetery. An Act wr providing a new burial ground 
for the Parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, and for erecting a 
chapel tliereon, was passed in the year 1803. About three 
acres and a half of ground, known as the Adam and Eve Tea 
Gardens, adjoining St. Pancras Old Church, was purchased ; 
part was enclosed for the purposes of the chmrchyard, and the 
remainder was, on the 23rd November 1803, demised by the 
trustees for a term of 61 years. On Sept. 12, 1805, the 
chapel was consecrated by the Bishop of London, the ground 
having been consecrated in June 1803. His Lordship was 
pleased, said a newspaper writer at the time, to signify his 
approbation of the neat maimer in which the chapel was fur- 
nished and fitted up. It was agreed between the two 
parishes that the parochial rates should be compounded for 
by an annual payment of £16 per annum, and £5 5s. as a 
rent charge in lieu of tithes to the vicar. By another Act, 
passed in 1862, intitided '*An Act for^ vesting the disused 
burial groimd of • the parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, and 
other lands connected therewith, in the rector, as glebe, and 
providing for the maintenance of the disused buriu ground, 
and for other purposes/" the provisions relating to the rent 
charge were re-enacted for vesting the ground in the rector 
of St. Giles, who was also required to continue to pay as com- 
pensation to the vicar of St. Pancras £5 5s. and £16 per 
annum as a composition for all parochial assessments. 

The ^' remainder " of this land is still enclosed within a 
high wall, and is used for the game of bowls by the fre- 
quenters of the ^'Adam and Eve.'' A few small and 
dilapidated houses, called ^^ £v&-plaoe/' overlook this en- 


There are monuments in this burial groimd of considerable 
interest. That of Sir John Soane especially attracts attention ; 
but it is now almost a ruin, not from the effects of time, but 
from the wilful destructiveness of persons who have been 
suffered to enter this '^ consecrated '' spot. Upon whom does 
this disgrace rest ? 

This beautiful monument was designed by Sir John, and 
a laudatory inscription is devoted to his wife^ who died in 
1815. It concludes with the following lines : 

" Stranger : 
If virtue o'er thy bosom bear control, 
If thine the gen'rous, thine th' exalted soul^ 
Stranger, approach : this consecrated earth 
Demands thy tribute to departed worth. 
Beneath this tomb thy kindred spirit sleeps ; 
Here friendship sighs, here fond affection weeps; 
Here to the dust, life's dearest charm resigned, 
Ijeaves but the dregs of lingering time behind ; 
Yet one bright ray of light the grave is giv'n — 
Th* virtuous die lujt — they survive in Heaven." 

Sir John Soane's life was a remarkable one, of poverty and 
obscurity ending in opulence and celebrity. He was bom at 
Reading in 1753. At an early age he was taken into the 
office of Dance the architect (in whose family his sister was 
also a servant) as an errand boy, but afterwards he became 
a pupil; he then entered the service of Holland, another 
eminent architect, and being recommended by Sir W. 
Chambers, on account of his talent displayed in a design for 
a triumphal bridge (which obtained the gold medal of the 
Royal Academy), he was sent as travelling student to Italy 
for three years. While there he became acquainted with Mr. 
Thomas Pitt, afterwards Lord Gamelford, to whose influence 
he was mainly indebted for the lucrative appointment of 
architect of the Bank of England. He married the niece of 
a wealthy builder, of the City of London, whose death put 
biTn in possession of considerable wealth. Fortune seems to 
have favoured him, for advantageous appointments came 
readily to him. His architectural works do not rank very 
high, though there are acknowledged beauties in portions of 
his designs ; it has also been said, that '^ striking defects are 
so oddly mixed up in some of them that it is hardly possible 
to say which predominate. His house and museum in Lin- 
coln's Inn Fields form a monument sufficiently expressive of 
the character of the man — a strange jumble of insignificance 


and ostentation, of parsimony and extrayagance, of ingenious 
contrivance in some parts, and tlie most miserable conceit in 
others." In 1833, lie obtained an Act of Parliament, vesting 
his museum, library^ &c., in trustees, for the use of the public 
after his death. He never forgave his son for a criticism 
which he wrote upon his father's works ; but preserved it in 
a frame and left it to him, by will, as a legacy. This aliena- 
tion from his son is presumed to be the reason for his refusal 
of a baronetcy and his determination to accept only a simple 
knighthood in 1831. He died at his house in Lincoln's Lin 
Fields, in January 1837, in his 84th year. " Eminently 
successful as he was throughout life, Sir John Soane was 
quite as much to be pitied as to be envied, and he is a striking 
lesson to the world that prosperity may be bitter to the man, 
and opportunity sometimes worse than useless to the artielt." 
The grave of John Flaxman is calculated to awaken 
interest. He was a good as well as a great man. It is 
recorded on his monument that his ''mortal life was a con- 
stant preparation for a blessed immortality. His angelic 
spirit returned to the Divine Giver on the 7th December 
1826, in the 72nd year of his age.'' The death of his wife 
six years before, after thirty-eight years of uninterrupted 
happiness, occasioned him much sorrow. But from his bio- 
graphy in the Penny Cyclopaedia we learn, that he devoted 
his genius more sedidously to his art, in which he excelled ; 
and some of his very latest productions are among his very 
best. His scriptural compositions, Christ raising from the 
dead the daughter of Jairus, and two illustrations of the texts, 
*' Comfort and help the weak-hearted,'* '* Feed the hungry,*' 
show that the simple truths of the Gospel are capable of in- 
spiring the sculptor and supplying him with appropriate 
subjects. Of this class are the reliefs on the monument of 
Sir F. Baring's family in Mitcheldean Church, Hants, ex- 
pressive of the following sentences : " Thy will be done " — 
*' Thy kingdom come " — " Deliver us from evil." To these 
may be added his beautiful illustration of the text, '' Blessed 
are they that mourn,*' in a monument to Mary Lushington, 
of Lewisham, Kent, representing a mother sorrowing for her 
daughter, and comforted by an angel. His group of " Come 
ye blessed " — ** Lead us not into temptation *' — *' Charity " — 
and the monuments of Countess Spencer and Mrs. Tighe the 
poetess — ^^are also replete with religious sentiment and fervour. 
That he should have been pre-eminently happy in such 


subjects need not greatly excite our snrprise) because he was 
at home in them ; in them his head and hand spontaneously 
obeyed the dictates of a heart tenderly alive to every senti- 
ment of devotion. Until three days before his death he 
continued to employ himself in his usual pursuits and studies 
without particular inconvenience. He was followed to the 
grave by the President and Cotmcil of the Royal Academy. 

Here also were interred the remains of William Bingham, 
surgeon to the Fever Hospital, Pancras-road, who departed 
this life May Slst, 1821, aged 28 years. '^ His death was 
occasioned by the puncturing his finger while sewing up a 
dead body.'* 

Like the adjoining churchyard, this cemetery is neglected, 
and much wilful destruction is to be seen. It is time some 
public demonstration were made to awaken to duty those upon 
whom the disgrace now rests. Vested interests have also 
vested duties to perform. A small outlay would render these 
^'places of rest " of so many of the illustrious dead worthy of 
them ; and they might be made alike their memorial, and 
places of public resort for contemplation and even recreation* 
The remembrance of the dead need not be that of gloom and 
sadness. On the contrary, the lives of the virtuous and the 
excellent whose '' remains " alone rest here, should inspire 
with emulation those who may read their memorials. Flowers 
are sometimes placed by loving hands on the graves of those 
they mourn ; why then should not our dosed burial-grounds, 
which contain the memorials of many whose characters and 
works still live to aid and enlighten the living, be made 
fragrant gardens symbolical of the esteem and love of a 
grateful posterity P 





The St. Oiles^s Cemetery Chapel, which met with the 
approval of Bifehop Porteus nearly seventy yeara since/ has 
now become the School-house of Old St. Pancras Church, and 
the public, for a season, were invited weekly to listen to 
* * Penny Readings.'' Thus recreation — with a different phase 
— was recently again to be found on a part at least of the 
ground which was once the famous Adam and Eve Tea- 
gardens. Those Tea Gardens were described in the ** Picture 
of London for 1805," as being "a pleasant distance from 
town, where is an excellent bowling green, and a regular 
company meet in summer, in the afternoon, to play at bowls 
and trap-ball. A very good room for parties to dine^ drink 
tea, &c." 

These gardens, like many others of similar character in 
the suburbs of London, were the resort of holiday folk and 
pleasure seekers. 

Advertisements ih old newspapers reminded the readers of 
their day, that these gardens were "genteel and rural.'* 
Coffee, tea, and especially "hot" loaves were part of the 
material attractions. " Likewise, cows " were " kept for the 
making of syllabubs." Near these gardens was a field 
" pleasantly situated for trap-ball playing." The advertiser 
then returns thanks to the " gentlemen who favoured him 
with their bean-feasts last season/' and hopes for the con- 
tinuance of their future favours. 

After referring to the attraction of a ^^long room" which 
would accommodate 100 persons, the then proprietor, Mr. 
George Lambert, concludes with the lines — 

'* All those who love trap-ball to Lambert's repair, 
Leave the smoke of the town, and enjoy the fresh air." 

G. Swinnerton & Co., succeeding proprietors^ also advertise 



their impioyement of these gardens, with walks, arbours, 
flowers, snrubs, &o., and state that the ** long room (capable 
of dining anj company) is decorated with paintings, &c. 
The delightfolness of its situation and the CTionantiny pros- 
pects may justly be esteemed the most agreeable in the 
yieinity of the metropolis.'' The following mducement held 
out has reference to a feeling entertained b^ our forefathers 
which reads strangely now. '^The proprietors have like- 
wise, at a great expense, fitted out a squadron of frigates, 
which, from a love to their country, they wish they could 
render capable of acting against the natural enemies of ^Great 
Britain, which must give additional pleasure to every well- 
wisher to his country. They therefore hope for the company 
of aU those who have the welfare of their country at heart, 
and those in particular who are of a mechanical turn, as in 
the above the possibility of a retrograde motion is fully 

From the above descriptive and patriotic appeal can be 
learnt the fact of the once rural character of the neighbour- 
hood, and also the existence of a strong antipathy which every 
means was taken to foster against our natural enemies the 
French which continued even to the days of our fathers. 

The Mr. Swinnerton who thus advertises also held the lease 
of the Pancras manor. From him it next passed to '' Coun- 
sellor" Agar. What it afterwards became will form the 
subject of a separate chapter. 

St. Pancras Spa. — ^Till within a hundred years ago, the 
mineral springs m this district were a means of great at- 
traction ; and were even distinguished by the name of Spas, 
from a town of that name in the province of Idege, in 
Belgium, where Peter the Great was said to have derived 
great benefit from the waters. It has been observed that 
.wherever these mineral springs abounded, they have at- 
tracted flocks of the sickly in mind and body, and hence 
amusement, indeed sometimes dissipation, have been ulti- 
mately a necessary result. In Pancras Spa the gardens 
around it were very extensive, and were laid out as w^Jsa 
for those drinking the waters. Not only were ''vapourish 
and melancholy' disorders professed to be removed by 
drinking these waters, " but leprosy, scurvy, king's evil (now 
known as scrofulous ulceration of tne glands) cancers, or the 
most corrosive ulcers " were professed to be cured ; besides 
" cleansing the blood and juices from all impurities, pro- 


motmg their due secretions, and causing a free and bris]^ 
circulation '' — and all "in a few days." A nota bene is 
appended, that *^ they answer all the ends of the ^ Holt ' 
waters, with this advantage, that a much less quantity of 
them is necessary to be taken in the cure of any distemper ; 
they are very grateful to the taste, exceedingly strengthen 
the stomach, and may be drank in any season of the year 
with equal success/' 

An advertisement, dated 13th February 1729, offered the 
^' House commonly called 'Pancridge' Wells; a garden, 
stable, and other conveniences," to be let. At that time the 
faith of the public in mineral waters must have been very 
great as well as a source of profit to the owners of the 
rorings. Mr. Bichard Bristow, a goldsmith, near Bride-lane, 
Meet-street, advertised in 1730 to deliver to any part of 
London the Pancras and Bristol waters 6s. a dozen, Bath 
water 7s. 6d., and the Pyrmont and Spa waters at l4s. per 
dozen, " bottles and all." The sceptical could have their 
doubts set at rest as to the efficacy of the Pancras waters by 
seeing at Mr. Bristow's ''the Five Stones, together with one 
considerably larger than either, aU voided ahnost instantly 
bj drinking of the Pancras mineral waters, of which a par- 
ticular account is given in a printed direction for the use of 
them, to be had for asking for at the above place of sale " 

In 1730 a " south prospect of Pancras Wells " was pub- 
lished. A new plantation had been made ; there was a bed 
walk amidst avenues of trees, leading up to a long room 60 
ft. by 18 ; pump rooms, and a house of entertainment. There 
was also a walk for ladies, and a hall. An uninterrupted 
view of the Hampstead and Highgate Hills, and of the lesser 
and nearer Primrose Hill, gave a charm to the situation. 
The gardens around the Spa were extensive and admirably 
laid out as walks for those drinking the waters.^ Accounts 
of the quahty of these waters and of the surprising cures 
effected by them were published, with recommendations by 
the most eminent physicians in the kingdom. 

On June 10, 1769, Mr. John Armstrong advertised these 
St. Pancras Well waters. He says, ** To prevent mistakes, 
St. Pancras Wells is on that side the churchyard towards 
London ; the house and gardens of which are as genteel and 
rural as any roi^nd this metropolis ; the best of tea, coffee, and 
hot loaves, every day, may always be depended oua with neat 
wines, curious punch, Dorchester, Marlborough and Eingwood 


beerc( ; Burton, Yorksliire and other fine ales, and cyder ; 
and also cows kept to accommodate ladies and gentlemen 
with new milk and cream^ and syllabubs in the greatest 
perfection. The proprietor returns' his unfeigned thanks to 
those societies of gentlemen who have honoured him with 
their country feasts. . . Note, two long rooms will dine 
two hundred compleatly.'^ 

From Bagnigge Wells, also, a Mr. Davis advertised those 
waters, ^* recommended by the late Dr. Bevis, in his Treatise 
on the same, dedicated to the Eoyal Society. Tea at 6, coffee 
at 8, with hot loaves, &c., as usual." In 1779, ladies and 
gentlemen could " enjoy the benefit and pleasure of drinking 
these waters for threepence each morning, or be entitled to 
drink either of the purgative or chalybeate waters at their 
pleasure, during the whole season, upon subscribing 10s. 6d. 

The popular faith in these waters had greatly declined in 
1825, as men the St. Chad's Well alone remained. William 
Hone, in describing it, thought it necessary to point out the 
way to it, as something either forgotten or unknown to that 
generation. He says, " If any one desire to visit this spot 
of ancient renown, let him descend from Holbom Bars to the 
very bottom of Gray's Inn-lane, On the left-hand side 
formerly stood a considerable hill, whereon were wont to 
climb and browse certain mountain goats of the metropolis, 
in common language called swine ; the hill was the largest 
heap of cinder-dust in the neighbourhood of London. It was 
formed by the annual accumulation of some thousands of cart- 
loads ; since exported to Bussia for making bricks to rebuild 
Moscow, after the conflagration of that capital on the entrance 
of Napoleon. Opposite to this unsightly heap, and on the 
right-hand side of the road is an angle-wise faded inscription : 
St. Chad's Well. On an octagon board is painted ' Health 
Restored and Preserved.' The Lady of the WeU gratuitously 
informs you that 'the gardens^ of 'St. Chad's Well' are 
* for circulation ' by paying for the water, of which you may 
drink as much, or as little, as you please,, at one guinea per 
year ; 9s. 6d. quarterly ; 4s. 6d. monthly ; or Is. 6d. weekly. 
You qualify for a single visit by paying 6d., and a large glass 
tumbler full of warm water is handed to you. As a stranger 
you are told that St. Chad's Well was famous at one time.' 
Should you be inquisitive, the dame will instruct you with an 
earnest eye, that ' people are not what they were ;' ' things 
are not as they used to be,' and she * can't tell what'U happen 


next.' A versified ' tribute of gratitude ' in a black frame for 
the benefit of St. Chad's invaluable water ; an oil painting 
said to be a portrait of the Saint is vouched for by a tall old 
man, who tells you, * I am ninety-four this present year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and twentv-nve.' The 
garden alleys and places of retirement are oi the time of 
WiUiam HI. 

" St. Chad's Well is .scarcely known in the neighbourhood, 
save by its sign-board of invitation, and forbidding externals. 
An old American loyalist who lived in Pentonville ever since 

* the rebellion ' forced him to the mother country, enters to 

* totter not unseen ' between the stunted hedgerows : it was 
the first 'place of pleasure ' he came to after his arrival, and 
he goes nowhere besides — * every thing else is so altered/ 
For the same reason, a tall, spare, thin-faced man, with dull 

grey eyes and underhung chin, from the neighbourhood of 
ethnal-green, walks hither for his ' Sunday morning's ex- 
ercise/ to untruss a theological point with a law clerk, who 
also attends the place because his father ^when he was 
prentice to Mr. , the great law stationer in Chancery- 
lane in 1776, and sat writing for sixteen hours a day, received 
great benefit from the waters, which he came to drink fasting, 
once a week.' Such persons from local attachment, and a 
few male and female atrabilarians, who without a powerful 
motive would never breathe the pure morning air, resort to 
this spot for their health. St. Chad's well is haunted, not 
frequented. A few y^ars and it will be with its water as 
with the water of St. Pancras Well, which is enclosed in the 
gardein of a private house, near old St. Pancras churchyard." 
St. Pancras Well, in the " garden of a private house " 
is now occupied by the Midland Eailway, and it would be 
difficult to point out the spot where it was. So with St. 
Chad's Well ; it has been displaced by the premises of the 
Metropolitan Bailway. Thus, as with individuals, the places 
which once knew them, now knows them no longer. 




Thb site known for more than twenty years as '^Agar 
Town/' was formerly meadow land, and when a lease of tnis 
prebendal manor came into the possession of Mr. Agar, about 
60 years ago, it was of comparatively small value. The Re- 
gent's Canal was then in course of construction. The Com- 
pany proposed to cut their Canal direct through the estate ; 
but Mr. Agar, a Queen's counsel at the Chancery Bar, 
disputed their rights, and successfoUy contested the point in 
a court of law. He obtained, it is believed, large pecuniary 
compensation, and a diversion of the intended course of the 
canal, which accoimts for the circuitous route it takes round 
the estate. 

Until the year 1840, '' Counsellor" Agar's grounds retained 
their park-like appearance. In one part there were several 
fine mulberry trees. The approach to the residence (which 
building remained till lately) was by a neat lodge and gate 
from the Kins^'s Bead. Then, a portion of the land on the 
Maiden-lane side was let off to market gardeners. The King's 
Eoad had a rural aspect, the hedgerows being skated by 
poplar and other trees. 

In 1841^ Mr. Agar sub-let the greater part of his estate 
on leases for 21 years. Tenements were run up in conse* 
quence by anyone disposed to take the ground. Many were 
mere hovels, erected by journeymen bricklayers and car- 
penters on Sundays and in other spare time, and were 
inhabited before the ground flooring was laid. Hence many 
of the first proprietors rued the day they ever contemplated 
becoming the owners of their dwellings in ''Agar" or 
''Ague Town " as it was now called, for as a natural con- 
sequence of the want of proper drainage and sewerage, 
the inmates contracted fevers which earned off in some in- 


stances the industrious father or mother, and sometimes several 
of the children of a family. One case was that of a carpenter, 
who was a sober and industrious man, and who had by fru- 
gality saved sufficient money to enter upon the undertaking 
of bimding himself a house. As soon as the roof was on, and 
before the building was thoroughly dry, he and his family 
inhabited it ; but it proved a sad venture to him, for soon 
after he caught a cold, which terminated fatally in fever. 

The condition of a new town springing up under such 
circumstances could not long be concealed from the outside 
public. In 1851, it attracted the attention of Mr. Charles 
Dickens. It had been in existence about ten years. A 
graphic description appeared in ** Household Words/' under 
the title of '^ An English Suburban Connemara,'' from which, 
with a little condensation, is extracted the following : 

(The writer is supposed to be a Manchester man desirous 
of obtaining for himself and family a residence convenient 
for his business, having commissions in the West Riding, 
sending up parcels by the Great Northern line, and also re- 
ceiving goods from Manchester by the North Western Bail- 
way. Supposing Agar Town to be the convenient spot, from 
its position on a new map he had obtained, he went in search 
of a new home.) 

'^ I rode,^^ he says, " down to King's Cross, and proceeding 
along i^e Old Pancras-road, entered the King's-road, which 
is the boundary of the property I was seeking. I had not 
gone far beyond a large building which I found was the St. 
Fancras Workhouse, when I observed a woman and a number 
of ragged children drawing a truck up the steep pathway of 
a turning on the right-hand side of the road. The pathway 
was some feet above the road, which was a ^complete bog of 
mud and filth, with deep cart-ruts ; the truck, oscillating and 
bounding over the inequalities of the narrow pathway, threat- 
ened every moment to overturn with the woman, her faipily, 
and all her worldly goods. Suddenly, the inner wheel en- 
countered a small hmock of dust and vegetable refuse at the 
door of a cottage, and finally shot its contents into the deep 
slough of the roadway. A dustman happening to pass at the 
time, helped the children to restore the chattels to the righted 

" * What is the name of this place V I asked. 

"'This here,, sir P' replied the woman; *why, Hagar 


** ' Agar Town P I exclaimed with astomshmexit, remem- 
bering now clean and promising it liad appeared upon the 
map. 'Do you mean to say that I am really in Agar 

*' The dustman, who by this time had finished his job, and 
who sat upon the pathway smoking a short black pipe, with 
his legs dangling over the road, like a patient angler hf a 
yery turbid stream, ventured to join in we conversation, by 
answering my question : 

'^ ' You are as nigh,^ said he 'to the middle o'Hagar Town 
as you can well be/ 

^' ' And where,' said I, * is Salisbury Crescent P' 
There's Salisbury Crescent.' 
I looked up, and saw several wretched hovels ranged in 
a slight curve, that formed some excuse for the name. The 
doors were blocked up with mud, heaps of ashes, oyster-shells, 
and decayed vegetables. 

" * Are there no sewers P' 

*' * Sooers ? Why the stench of a rainy'moming is enough 
for to knock down a bullock. It's all very well ror them as 
is lucky enough to have a ditch afore their doors ; but, in ge- 
neral, everybody chucks everything out in front, and there it 
stays. There used to be an inspector of noosances, when the 
choleray was about, but as soon as the choleray went away, 
people said they did not want any more of that sort till such 
times as the choleray would break out agen.' 

" ' Is the whole of Agar Town in such a deplorable state as 
thisP' I asked. 

*^ 'All on it. Some places wuss. You can't think what 
rookeries there is in some parts. As to the roads, they ain't 
never been done nothink to. They ain't roads. I recoUect 
when this place was all gardeners' ground ; it wasanice pooiy 
place enough then. &at ain't above ten or twelve years 
ago. When people began to build on it, thev ran up a couple 
o' rows o' houses opposite one another, andtnen the road was 
left fur to make itself. Then the rain come down, and 
people chucked their rubbidge out ; and the ground bein' 
nat^ally soft, the carts from the brick fields woriied it aU up 
into paste.' 

'' ' How far does Agar Town extend Y I asked. 

'' ' Do you see them cinder heaps out a yonder V 

'' I looked down in the distance, and beheld a lofty chain 
of dark mountains. 


*' * Well/ said the Dustman, * tliat*s where Hagar Town 
ends — close upon Battle Bridge. Them .heaps is made o' 
breeze ; breeze is the siftings of the dust what has been 
put there by the contractor's men, arter takin' away all the 
vallyables as has been found/ 

" Crossing another bridge — for the canal takes a winding 
course through the midst of this Eden — I stood beside the 
Good Samaritan public house, to observe the houses which 
the dustman had pointed out, with the water ' a-flowin ' in 
at the back doors/ Along the canal side the huts of the 
settlers, of many shapes and sizes, were closely ranged, every 
tenant having his own lease of the ground. There were the 
dog-kennel, the cow shed, the shanty, and the elongated 
watch-box styles of architecture. To another, the ingenious 
residence of Robinson Crusoe seem^ed to have given his 
idea. Through an opening was to be seen another layer of 
dwellings at the back : one looking like a dismantled wind- 
mill^ and another perched upon a wall, like a guard's look- 
out on the top of a railway carriage. Every gQ.rden had its 
nuisance— so far the inhabitants were agreed — ^but every 
nuisance was of a distinct and peculiar character. In thje 
one wa9 a dung-heap, in the ;aext a cinder-heap, in a third 
which belonged to tiie cottage of a costermonger, was a pile 
of whelk and periwinkle shells, some rotten cabbages, and a 
donkey ; and the garden of another exhibiting a board in- 
scribed with the words ' Ladies' School,' had become a pond 
of thick green water. The English Captain who attended 
church at San Francisco, in fisherman's mud-jacks, with 
trousers close reefed up each leg, felt all his misgivings , at 
the grotesque appearance vanish when he saw other men 
dressed like himself, and observed that the prevailing cos- 
tume for ladies was Wellington boots ; but, I should like 
to know what sympathy an inhabitant of Agar Town would 
get if on Sunday morning he presented himself before the 
parish beadle thus attired ! The Eector jof St. Pancras has 
endeavoured to meet his parishioners in this didtrict half- 
way; for, finding the difficulty of moving Agar Town to 
church, he moved the church to Agar Town; and a neat 
little structure, or temporary churdi, is now conveniozitly 
planted in the dirtiest part of the district. 

" The inhabitants themselves e:^bit a genuine Irish 
apathy. Here and there a barrow or two of oyster eheU^, 
brok^ brid^, an^ oth^ ^y nvate^^jjg^ ]^Ye b^en t^wn 


into the mud. In Cambridge-row I observed that some 
effort bad been made to get a crossing; but a sisnboard 
indicated that it was to facilitate the approach to ' The back 
door of the Good Samaritan.' 

<< Continuing my way until I came within the shadow of 
the great cinder heaps of Mr. Darke the contractor; I turned 
off at Cambridge Crescent, to make the hazardous attempt of 
discovering a passage back into the Pancras Bead. At the 
comer of Cambridge Crescent are the Talbot Arms Tea 
Gardens, boasting a dry skittle ground, which, if it be not 
an empty boast, must be an Agar Town island. The settlers 
of Cambridge Crescent are almost all shopkeepers — ^the 
poorest exhibiting in their rag-patched windows a lew apples 
and red herrings, with the rhyming announcement, ' Table- 
beer sold here.' I suspect a system of barter prevails — the 
articles sold there comprehending, no doubt, the whole of the 
simple wants of the inhabitants ; a system, perhaps, suggested 
by the difficulty of communication with the civilized world. 

^' Every comer of a garden contained its hut, well stocked 
with dirly children; the house of one family was a large 

Jellow van upon wheels, thus raised above high mud-mark, 
t was the neatest dwelUnff I had observed, having two red- 
painted street doors, with bright brass knockers, out of a tall 
man's reach, and evidently never intended for knocking — 
the entrance being by steps at the head of the van; 
indeed, I suspect that these doors were what the stage 
managers call 'impracticable'; the interior appeared to be 
well furnished and divided into bed-room and sitting-room ; 
altogether it had a comfortable look, with its chimney-pipe 
smoking on the top ; and if I were doomed to live in Agar 
Town, I should certainly like lodgings in the yellow van. 

''Aa I proceeded, my way became more perilous. The 
foot-path gradually narrowing, merged at length in the bog 
of the road. I hesitated ; but to turn back was almost as 
dangerous as to go on. I thought, too, of the possibility of 
my wandering tnrough the labyrinth of rows and crescents 
until I should be benighted ; and the idea of a night in Agar 
Town, without a single lamp to guide my footsteps, em- 
boldened me to proceed. Plungine at once into the mud, 
and hopping in the manner of a Kangaroo, so as not to 
allow mpelf time to sink and disappear altogether, I found 
myself at length once more in the iSong's Bora.'^ 

Public attention was thus drawn by Charles Dickens to 


the condition of this district ; and to those who thus heard of 
it for the first time, it became a nine days' wonder. Bat 
meanwhiTe others were more actively at work in the en- 
deayonr to ameliorate the condition of the people thus badly 
situated, as will be presently shown. Philosopners may pro- 
pound fine principles of what '^ ought to be " the ways of 
men ; but there is a profounder truth in some of the doctrines 
of the late Robert Owen than men were prepared to admit 
when he uttered them : the " circumstances/ or, as in his 
last days he said, the *^ surroundings " of men have much 
to do with the characters they bear. There are districts in 
and around the metropolis, as is too well known to charitable 
visitors, in which virioie and goodness are almost impossible. 
Children are " dragged '' up, as Charles Lamb said. They 
see nothing noble or self-denying, then how can they even 
form I a conception of goodness? There is a kind of con- 
ventional morality existing, it is true, but unless that standard 
is elevated, the human mind, knowing no pause, sinks into 
darkness, misery, and crime. Brute force aggravated and 
literally brought out by the aid of strong drink, is the ruling 

Though Agar Town has totally disappeared, the people who 
inhabited it, and a part of Somers Town are existing some- 
where. Hundreds are crowding and lowering in character 
some parts of Kentish Town, and others have taken up their 
quarters in Islington. 

The late Lord Derbv, in a speech at a ministerial banquet 
at the Egyptian Hall, in 1868, promised, in the coming 
session, to give '' sedulous attention to the introduction 
of various social, moral, and industrial reforms which are 
loudly called for, and from which the attention of Parliament 
has been diverted by other subjects."' That diversion is still 
going on, and only the epidemic of cholera or smaU-pox com- 
pels a little so-called sanitary legislation for a time. We 
have had it repeated ad nauseam, that '^we cannot make 
people religious by Act of Parliament." True, in one sense 
we cannot, but the converse of the proposition is painfully 
true, that we have done much, or rather permitted much to 
exist, which has created immorality and vice, and con- 
sequently irreligion, which promised, social reforms might 
remove, and thereby make religion more possible. 

There must have been something defective in the law 
which could permit such a condition of things as existed in 


A^ar Town tos twenty years. The Eoolesiastical Com- 
zmssioners would not renew the lease to the Agar family, 
the tempting offer by the Midland Bailway Company was 
accepted, and hence the disappearance of the town. Mr. 
Dickens, at the conclusion of his article, after lamenting 
the rise of an English Connemara in such dose proximity 
to the metropolis, asks, Can nothing be done to help them ? 
Many others had asked themselves the same question, and 
had endeavoured [to answer it by personal effort. The in- 
habitants are now all scattered : but let us record what was 
done for them by Christian philanthropists. 

Mr. Dickens referred to the Bector of St. Pancras, as 
planting a temjporary iron church '^ in the dirtiest part of 
the district." A zealous clergyman was appointed, and exer- 
cised his influence amongst the people. Miss Agar, who min- 
istered to the bodily wants and took an active interest in the 
spiritual necessities of the inhabitants, built an infant school. 
By permission of the minister of the district some members 
of a neighbouring temperance society held meetings weekly 
in the iron church, to promote their views. So much benefit 
was derived from this new effort that both Miss Agar and 
the clergvman became members, which of course caused 
others to loUow their example. It was said by the minister 
at that time that each member of the committee was equal 
to a curate in assisting him in his work in the town. &)me 
of the small shopkeepers joined in the work, many of the 
inhabitants also became adherents, and some hundreds of 
children met as a Band of Hope in the Infant School. This 
effort continued for about four years, when the illness of the 
secretary caused it to be abandoned. 

''Cottage meetings,^' promoted by members of Park 
Chapel and other chapels in Camden Town, were opened ; 
children and youths met for instruction on Sunday morning 
and afternoon, and in the evening a religious service was 
held, condupt^ by lay members of the churches. Stones 
and brickbats have been sometimes thrown at the doors and 
windows, but as a rule the Agarites appreciated these cottage 
services and similar efforts to alleviate their condition. 

If, then, Mr. Dickens saw '' Good Samaritans ^' in the 
form of ^^ publics,'' and even sign-boards indicating the 
''back door'' to the same, with the allurement of a dean 
path to boot, we reflect with pleasure on the fact that there 
>fere%^QUi reality '^Good Samantans'' ready to pour oil 


into tHe moral Wounds and sores with wliich so many were 
afflicted in Agar Town. 

The fee-simple of the greater portion of the prebendal 
estates of St. Pancras, containing seventy acfed, has been 
transferred by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to the Mid- 
land Railway Company fot a consideratidn of many thotlsaiid 
pounds. The church in Agar Town, with its minister, has 
been transferred to the neighbourhood of Paul's Bead, and . 
is named St. Thomases District Parish Church. The building 
was erected at the expense of the Midland Company^ and is 
endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners^ but the com* 
pensation to the inhabitants dispossessed of their humble 
dwellings is yet to come. 

Where they once were are now seen immense warehouses, 
brewers' storehouses, wharfs, and the various works and 
plant of the Midland Railway. "Counsellor" Agar's house 
remained till lately, and was used as offices of the company, 
but what a contrast is presented to the verdant lawns and 
park, and fine mulberry trees, which many persons still re- 
member, on this ancient prebendal estate. 

The last time the writer of these notes saw this neigh- 
bourhood was one Sunday morning in the summer of 1868. 
Agar Town had entirely disappeared. By the side of the 
workhouse, on an embankment which Dickens had described 
as " a pathway above the road of mud and filth,'' were 
groups of such as appeared to be "casuals" or homeless 
poor. Some were seated on logs, and were eating bread, 
probably that which they had received on leaving the work- 
house. An old woman was being made sport of by the 
younger ones, their loud laughter at her misery and dis- 
comfort forming a sad spectacle. Another group consisted 
of about twenty males, from the boy of fourteen up to the 
prematurely old man of forty. They were deeply interested 
in the result of " head or woman " turning uppermost. So 
intent were they that they took not the slightest notice of a 
passer-by, and thus they afforded an opportunity for a full 
survey of them being taken. They were indeed sad speci- 
mens of humanity. 

On a steep bank of newly-dug earth children were playing, 
and some of them on the top were looking in evident wonder 
at the scene before them. It was a part of the St. Giles's 
Cemetery, and was on that day easily entered by a breach 
in the wall. Behind was the wreck of a town in which 


fl^ualor and wretcliedness had eziated too long, and where 
civilization was scarcely possible from want of proper sanitary 
nieans ; but all that had come to an end. On a stone let 
into the wall was the date of the consecration of the cemetery 
— '* 1809/' In 1866 the work of desecration commenced. 
The grayestones in 1868 were mostly in a dilapidated state ; 
some were entirely oat of the perpendicular, and the visitor 
could see through the apertures which time had made in 
some of the monuments, tne bones of those buried in them. 
The adjoining ancient churchward was alike desecrated, and 
the Bey. W. Arrowsmith, the mcumbent, called public atten- 
tion to the scandal, but in yain. The Railway is no respecter 
of persons. Hying or dead. In its march it had levelled a town 
wmch ought never to have been built, and therefore was a 
benefactor ; but in disturbing the remains of those who had 
been interred in the '^ sure and certain hope of a doriouB 
resurrection,'^ the feelings of survivors have been snocked, 
and their faith in such institutions almost destroyed. 




On the site of the St. Fancras Spa, Church Eow was built^ 
and in the garden of one of those houses the once celebrated 
well was enclosed. When the great flood at Battle Bridge 
took place in the year 1818, two young men who lodged at 
No. 4 in that Bow, kept by a Mr. l^evrahj, were washed out 
of their beds. There was gi^eat loss of property, but provi- 
dentially no loss of life. The flood arose ^om the swelling 
of the ttiyer Fleet, in consequence of the quantilgr of rain 
which had fallen, so that the water rose several ieet high 
during the night, and ran into the lower apartments of every 
house from the ^TTorthumberland Arms Tea-gardens to the 
Small-pox Hospital, Somers Town, a distance of about a mile. 
The torrent then forced its way into Field-street and Lyon- 
place, inhabited by poor people, and entered the kitchens, 
carrying with it everythmg within its reach. In the con- 
fusion, many persons in attempting to get through the water 
fell into the Fleet, but were providentially saved. A poor 
woman with her new-bom infant was nearly drowned, being 
saved by a man who went in on a plank, and bore her out on 
his shoulders. Between four and five o'x^lock in the morning 
the flood increased, and forced its way through the houses 
into the brickfields at the back, wmoh were completely 
covered. Between 30,000 and 40,000 bricks were covered over 
or washed away. The green of the Inoculation Hospital was 
inundated. The flood occasioned a loss of several thousand 
pounds. It was high tide when the water was first discovered, 
which prevented the drains from discharging sufficiently 
quick for the water to run off. In the course of the next 


day^ whicli was Saturday, the gratings were opened, and 
every means resorted to to clear away the water, which was not 
effected till a late hour. Carts plied there in the meantime, 
and took people across for a penny each. In 1809 there had 
heen a considerable overflow, after a gre&t fall of snow, and 
a rapid thaw had succeeded, and '' the arches not affording a 
sufficient passage for the increased current, the whole space 
between Fancras Church, Somers Town, and the bottom of 
the hill at Pentonyille, was in a short time covered with 
water, so that the flood rose to a height of three feet from 
the middle of the highway, the lower rooms of the houses 
within that space being completely inundated. Two cart 
horses were drowned, and for several days persons wei^e 
obliged to be conveyed to and from their houses, and receive 
their provisions, &c., in at their windows by means of caarts.'^ 
A local historian, who lived in Somers Town in 1812, has 
thus, as above quoted, recorded what he was an eye-witness 
of. He also savs, '^Such is the increase of water in the 
channel of the Fleet, after long-continued rains, or a sudden 
thaw with much snow on the ground, by reason of the great 
influx from the surroimding hills, that sometimes from Battle 
Sridge it overflows its bounds, breaks up the bridges, and in- 
undates the neighbourhood. Several years ago/' he adds, 
^' an inundation of this kind took place, when several drowned 
cattle, butts of beer, and other heavy articles were carried 
down the stream from the premises on its banks, in which the 
flood had entered, and made devastation." 

The Fleet Eiver is now completely hid underground, and 
has been made to carry off the sewage of this neighbourhood. 
Such, too, is the superior engineering skill of the present 
day that while the Underground Kailway was being con- 
structed the course of this rapid stream at King's Cross, was 
diverted to suit the requirements of the railroad timnel. 

In the spring, of 1872, the Fleet Ditch again burst from 
its underground confinement, and inimdated the lower parts 
of several of the houses in York-road and its neighbourhood, 
doing considerable damage to property. The Metropolitan 
Board of Works thereupon decided upon an outlay of several 
thousand pounds, to avert a similar danger and annoyance. 

In a map of London for 1793, beyond the Spa and ad- 
joining fields, appears Pancras Place and the Inoculation 
Hospital, then a small building, which, with its large lawn, 
faced the cross roads of BatUe Bridge, The Inoculation 

*t* rAPC1tA9~tA^ AKD PMSEiJt. 65 

Sospitaly promoted in consequence of tlie introduction, "by- 
Lady Wortley Montague, in 1721, of that means of lessening 
the then fearful ravages of small-pox, as well as to treat the 
disease, was erected, 23rd September 1746, but the accommo- 
dation being insufficient for the number of persons thus 
affected seeking admission, it was decided to erect a new and 
larger building, so that on the 2nd May 1793, a meeting 
was held at the Hospital at Pancras, of the president, vice- 
president and committee '' in order to assist at the cei^emony 
of laying the first stone of the new building, by his Grace 
the Duke of Leeds *^ ; after which it was announced, " they 
will dine together at the New London Tavern, Cheapside ;*' 
the tickets for the dinner were " delivered " to those intend- 
ing to " favour them with their company, at 7s. 6d. each/' 

On the publication of the discovery o£ vaccination by Dr. 
Jenner in 1798, Dr. "Woodville, the physician to the hospital, 
cordially adopted the practice, and the principal physicians 
of London also eventually approved of the new system, 
though at first they severely and unfairly opposed it. It 
had been foimd and acknowledged that though inoculation 
greatly mitigated the disease, only one in five hundred dying 
after inoculation, while of those who caught the small-pox, 
one in every six perished, yet on the whole it was productive 
of more harm than benefit, by introducing the disease (as it 
often did) into a district previously free from its contagion ; 
and thus, while it saved the life of one person, it became the 
eause of death to many who caught small-pox from him. 
The story of the discovery of vaccination by Dr. Jenner, from 
what he had learnt at Sudbury from the milkers of the cows 
there, that having had the cow-pox they were completely 
secure from the small-pox; of his- 18 years' battle with 
scepticism and ridicule ; and then at last a declaration being 
made of entire confidence in vaccination by upwards of 70 
of the principal physicians and surgeons in London ; then an 
miworthy attempt to deprive him of the merit of his dis- 
covery ; of his scientific honours at last from all quarters ; 
of his most anxious labours to difiuse the advantages of his 
discovery both at home and abroad ; till he had the satis- 
faction of knowing that vaccination had even then shed its 
blessings over every civilized nation of the world, prolonging 
life, and preventing the ravages of the most terrible scourge 
to which the human race was subject ; this story it has been 
totaasi necessary to call to nemembtance very recently, in con- 


seqnence of the increasmg scepticism as to the efficacy of 
yaccinatioii^ arising in some measure from the carelessness of 
those entrusted with its practice. A committee of the House 
of Commons, however, in 1871 took evidence of the most 
competent medical men and others, which tended to confirm 
the conclusions of Dr. Jenner, given to the world seventy- 
three years before. 

The Small-pox and Vaccination Hospital at Battle Bridge 
continued there after its rebuilding for more than fifty years 
till its site was reqxiired for the terminus of the Gh:eat 
Northern Railway. The present Hospital erected at the 
foot of Highgate Hill, very similar in appearance to that 
formerly at Battle Bridge, at a cost of £20,000, was paid for 
out of the compensation money awarded by the Eailway 
Company for the site. 

The Great Northern Bailway terminus occupies 45 acres 
of ground, the passenger station being on the site of the 
Small-pox Hospital. The front towards Pancras-road has 
two main arches, each 71 feet span, separated by a dock 
tower 120 feet high; the clock dials are each 9 feet in 
diameter, and the principal bell weighs 29 cwt. Each shed 
is 800 feet long, 105 feet wide, and 71 feet high to the crown 
of the semi-circidar roof, without a tie. The goods shed is 
600 feet in length, and 80 feet wide, and the roof is glazed 
with cast-glass in sheets 8 feet by 2 feet 6 inches. IJnder 
the goods platform is stabling for 300 horses. The shed ad- 
joins the Eegent's Canal, which from thence enters the 
Thames at Limehouse. The coal stores will contain 15,200 
tons. The railway passes under the Regent's Canal and 
Maiden-lane (now York-road) beneath what were once the 
Copenhagen Fields, nqw the Metropolitan Cattle Market, 
over the HoUoway-road, through tunnels at Homsey and 
elsewhere, and over a viaduct at Welwyn, with 42 arches, 30 
feet wide and 97 feet high. 

In close proximity to the Great Northern Station is now 
the magnificent stauon of the Midland Railway, but in 1793, 
looking again at the map, the only houses opposite the Small- 
pox Hospital were those called Weston-place. Mr. William 
Weston, the owner, lived in one of the houses. He was a 
useful inhabitant; was chosen churchwarden in the year 
1781-2, and again in 1800-1, and in December 1799 was one 
of the promoters of the establishment and opening of a ^^ soup 
hou9^ '^ in the parish^ '^ for the mitigation of the distresses 


of the poor/' At No. 17, in the same place, for several 
years lived Joanna Soutlicott. Her history is a melancholy 
evidence of self-delusion, and yet it is still more melancholy 
that intelligent men like the celebrated engraver William 
Sharp should have been deceived by the fanatical rhapsodies 
of such an illiterate woman as she was. Till she was forty 
years old she lived in the capacity of a servant in Devonshire, 
where she was bom in 1750. She had joined the Methodists 
in her neighbourhood, and eventually she imitated the pre- 
tences to the gift of prophecy of a preacher belonging to that 
body, of the name of Sanderson. Though totally illiterate, 
she dictated rhymed doggerel prophecies. She believed her- 
self to be the woman spoken of in the 12th chapter of Beve- 
lations; and her insane productions had a large sale, the 
purchasers believing the possession of them would secure 
their eternal salvation. She came to London at the expense 
of Mr. Sharp. Illiterate as she was, her writings had a large 
sale. She issued^ in 1803, ''A Warning to the whole 
World from the Sealed Prophecies of Joanna Southcott ; '' 
and a " Book of Wonders/' in 1814. She prophecied the 
birth of the Prince of Peace, of whom she was to be delivered 
on 19th October 1814, when upwards of sixty years old. 
At that time she had 100,000 followers. She died 27th 
December 1814, of dropsy. She said, when near her end, 
if she was deceived she ^' was at all events misled by some 
spirit, either good or evil." There were a large number of 
her followers for many years after her death, who, with 
William Sharp, believed she was but in a trance, and that 
her prophecies would yet be fulfilled. She was buried in 
St. John's Wood churchyard, where Eichard Brothers, a 
similar character, was also buried. The race of such prophets 
is not yet extinct, and there are still believers in their con- 
ceits, whether Imown as "Pecidiar People" or by more 
{OBsumptuous names. 

At Battle Bridge, in 1842, a Eoman inscription was dis- 
covered, attesting, Mr. John Timbs considers, the great 
battle between the Britons, under Queen Boadicea, and the 
Bomans, imder Suetonius Paulinus, to have been fought 
on this spot. The inscription bears distinctly the letters 
Leg. XX. (the twentieth legion) one of the four which 
came into Britain in the reign of Claudius, and the vex- 
illation of which was in the army of Suetonius Paulinus, 
when he made that victorious stand in a fortified pass, with 



a forest ia his rear, against the insurgent Britons. The 
position is described by Tacitus. On the high ground abore 
Battle Bridge are vesnges of Roman works, says Timbs, and 
the tract of land to the north was formerly a forest. The 
Teracity of the following passage is therefore fully con- 
firmed: — ^'Deligitque locum artis faucibus, et a tergo silY& 
olausum; satis cognito, nihil hostium nisi in fironte, et apertam 
planitiam esse, sine metu insidiarum." He further tells us 
that the force of Suetonius was composed of *' quartadecima 
legio, cum -vexilariis vioesimariis, et e proximis auxiliares.'' 
(Tacit. Annal. lib. xiy.) So tluit, almost to the letter, the 
place of this memorable engagement seems, by the discoyery 
of the above inscription, to be ascertained. Besides this im- 
portant battle, in which nearly the whole of the British army 
was slain in revenge for the cruelties they had practised in 
their efforts to throw off the Roman bondage^ it is stated 
that a conflict took place near Battle Bridge between King 
Alfred and the Danes, In later times Cromwell had an 
observatory in this neighbourhood. The original Boman 
road commenced here, bordered by the River Fleet. 

It is stated in the History of Clerkenwell, published in the 
" Clerkenwell News " some years since, that the late Mr. W. 
F. Bray, with the assistance of Mr. Dunstan, late governor of 
St. Luke's, Mr. Robinson, a solicitor, of Chartex^ouse-square, 
and Mr. Flanders, a retired tradesman, '^commenced 
building on some pieces of freehold ground at a notorious 
place for thieves and murderers, known as Battle Bridge. 
It was a speculation of £40,000, and 63 houses were soon 
erected, some of which were situated in thoroughfares after- 
wards named, by Mr. Bray, Liverpool-street, Derby-street, 
Hamilton-place, and Ghichester-place, Oray's Inn-road. 
More houses were afiierwards erected, but in consequence of 
the notorious popularity of the name of Battle Bridge, the 
new buildings would not let. The result of this was that an 
interview was had with the other freeholders to enable them 
to change the name. One wanted it called the 'Boadicea's 
Gross' in memory of the great battle between Suetonius 
Paulinus and the British Queen in the year 61; another 
wanted it called 'St. George's Cross/ but Mr. Bray being 
the largest builder, suggested that it should be called ' King's 
Cross/ in honour of George the Fourth, who had just as- 
cended the throne, which name was at once agreed to. 
Upon part of .this estate had existed for over a century a 


large mountain of ashes and dust [known as Smith's dust 
heap], and bricks being scarce at the time of the rebuilding 
of Moscow^ Mr. Bray sold this heap to the Emperor of Russia 
for a large sum.'' 

The names of the streets were derived from those of the 
Oabinet ministers then in office. The Cabinet Theatre in 
Liverpool-street was built by Mr. Bray for an auction-room. 

The statement in the above extract as to the character of 
the former inhabitants of Battle Bridge is considerably ex- 
aggerated. The mere changing of the name would have 
been inadequate for the purpose of attracting the class of 
occupiers intended for the new streets built there if the 
description had been correct. No doubt many poor people 
"Were living near there, but they were not necessarily 
^' thieves and murderers." Battle Bridge, too, formerly the 
'^ mountain of dust" only, was boimded on the east by 
^'Constitution-row/' near which were Cumberland-row, 
Britannia-street, Swinton and Acton-streets, then only 
partially built. Opposite Acton-street was the road to the 
Bowling Green House, passing the Pindar of Wakefield, an 
ancient tavern. The latter was rebuilt in 1724, having in 
that year been destroyed by a hurricane, the landlord's two 
daughters being buried in tne ruins. 

'Kr. Stephen Geary erected for the subspribers to a fund 
for that purpose, the statue of George the Fourth, several 
years after, on a pedestal in the centre of the cross roads 
near Battle Bridge ; but it was so poor a specimen of art 
that, after it had excited ridicide for a time^ it was removed 
in the year 1842. The architect of that statue was also the 
designer of the first gin-palace in London, which he after- 
wards deeply regretted when he witnessed the ill effects it 
produced by the attraction of ornamentation and glare in 
addition to the seductiveness of the liquors sold therein. As 
an evidence of his sincerity he signed the pledge of total 
abstinence from intoxicating drinks, and worked incessantly 
in the cause till his death. He was an active member of the 
committee which welcomed the celebrated J. B. Gough to 
England, and was the architect of a bazaar at a Temperance 
Ffete in the Surrey Gardens in the year 1851. He died of an 
attack of cholera on 28th August 1854, in his 76th year, and 
was buried in Highgate Cemetery, where an inscription on a 
monument to his memory states that he was *' Architect and 
Founder of this Cemetery." 






SoMERS Town forms part of the St. Pancras manor^ the 
remaining portions consisting of the Brewer8% the Skinners', 
and the Sedford estates, and of Agar Town. 

In 1381, the reversion of the manor was granted by the 
Crown to the prior and convent of the house of Carthusian 
monks^ built in honour of the Holy Salutation ; but on the 
dissolution of monasteries, in 1539, it reverted to the Crown. 

John the first Earl Somers was created in 1695, when he 
was Lord High Chancellor, and became possessed of this 
estate, probably i)y the gift of Queen Anne. He must have 
been a popular and an able man, as he was one of the 
counsel for the Seven Bishops, and became successively 
solicitor-general, attorney-general, and lord keeper. Hls 
biographers record that he drew up the plan for the union of 
Scotland with England, and was appointed by Queen Anne 
one of the Commissioners to carry it into execution. After 
earning a high character for political purity and legal ability, 
and also being esteemed as a patron of men of letters, he died 
in 1716. The present Earl was bom in 1819, and succeeded 
to the title and estates in 1852. His eldest son is styled 
Viscount . Eastnor. It is probable that the Skinners and 
Brewers' Companies obtained their estates from the fact of 
the '^religious house" of the Carthusians being in the 
City. Coull says : *' The Skinners estate is held in trust by 



the Honourable and Worshipful Company of Skinners^ on 
behalf of their schools at Tonbridge^ in Kent. The property 
was known by the name of the Sandhill estate, and consists 
of about thirty acres of land bequeathed by Sir Andrew Judde, 
Lord Mayor of London, in 1568, towards the eudowment of 
a school which he had founded in his native town of Ton- 
bridge/' Hence the application of the names to Judd-street, 
SkinnersHstreet, Tonbridge-place, and Chapel. 

When so given by Sir A. Judde, the estate was valued at 
£13 6s. 8d. per annum, and then by his will was described as 
*^ consisting of a close of pasture situated at the backside of 

In 1807, a portion of the land was leased to Mr. Burton 
for 99 years at £2,500 per annum. When the lease expires 
in 1906, what will then be its value ? And what need would 
there be for a school rate now if all the land given by our 
pious ancestors for educational and other purposes were pro- 
perly and justly applied ? While observing the spirit of the 
bequests, no injustice would be done if all existing schools 
were modernised, obsolete usages in regard to costume, etc., 
were changed, and a more liberal interpretation of the found- 
ers' intentions were introduced. Common sense, too, should 
dictate the propriety of devoting a portion of the enormous 
increase of revenue derived from such estates to purposes of 
education or the relief of distress in the districts now so 
densely populated, but which, when such estates were granted 
for such objects, were only arable land and of comparatively 
insignificant value. €leiorm in such matters is very slow, 
and too often very ineffectual for the purpose. Whatever 
schemes the Endowed Schools Commissioners may devise, 
perfect justice will not be done to such neighbourhoods as 
Somers Town unless the principle is recognised that the land 
from which the wealth is obtained helps also to sustain the 
wants of those who reside on it. 

In the '^ Gentleman's Magazine *' for November 1813, a 
letter appeared, dated October 13 of that year, in which the 
writer, Mr. J. T.- Malcolm, gives a description of the rise of 
Somers Town, and of the changes in that district during the 
previous thirty years. Though that letter has been more 
than once reprinted, it is introduced here, because it is evi- 
dently in the main a correct and circumstantial account of 
the district as it gradually assumed the proportions of a 

72 ST. PAKCaAS^-^An akd tumrint. 

*' Sir,T««Permit me to acquaijit yoii of what hum ocoarred 
during the last thirty years in the place honoured by my 
residence in the north of London. A road has been made 
lately, called the New-road, which has intersected extensiye 
fields from Tottenham Court<road to Battle Bridge ; abont 
midway, and on the south side of the same stood the famous 
* Bowling Oreen House/ which had been noted for at least a 
century as a country retreat for Londoners on a Sunday 
afternoon ; and lower down on the opposite side, was the 
'Brill/ a comfortable country tavern, and perhaps more 
ancient than its rivaL A few houses near the * Mother Bed 
Gap/ at Camden Town, and the Old Church of St. Panoras, 
were the only buildings that interrupted the view of the 
country from Queen-square and the Foundling Hospital. 
With me exception of the two buildings already mentioned, 
and a group of tall trees in a lane leading from Qrav's Lon- 
lane to the ' Bowling Green Ebuse/ there was nouiing to 
interrupt the view. Commencing at Souihampton-row, near 
Holbom, is an excellent private road belonging to the Duke 
of Bedford, and the fields along the road are intersected with 
paths in different directions. The pleasantness of the situa^ 
tion, and the temptation o£Bered by the New-road, induced some 
people to build on the land, and the Somers Places, East and 
West> arose ; a few low buildings near the Duke's^road first 
made their appearance, accompanied by others of llie same des- 
cription, and, after a while, Somers Town was planned. Mr. 
Jacob Leroux became the principal landowner under Lord 
Somers. The former built for himselib handsome house, and 
various streets were named from the title of the noble Lord 
(Somers), a chapel was opened, and a polygon began in a square 
(the Polygon and Clarendon-square). Everything seemed 
to prosper favourably, when some imforeseen cause arose 
which checked the fervour of building, and many car- 
cases of houses were sold for less than the value of building 

" In the mieantime, gradual advances were made on the 
north side of the New-road, from Tottenham Court-road, and, 
finally, the buildings on the south side reached the Ibie of 
Gower-street. Somewhat lower, and near to Battle Bridge, 
there was a long grove of stunted trees which never seemed 
to thrive ; and on the site of the Bedford Nursery a pavilion 
was erected, in which her Boyal Highness the Duchess of 
York gave away colours to a volunteer regimei£t. The in- 

1^. PAKCOUyiH^PAl^ AKl^ TKitSESr. tS 

mtvbI between Saathampton-plaoe and Somers Town was soon 
one Tast brickfield. 

*' The influx of Freneb emigrants, oaused by tbe goings on 
in France^ has contributed to the prosperity of Somers Town, 
by their occupying most of the previously empty .houses; 
and the increase of the natiye population began to be per- 
ceptible by the demand for ground offered in leases by the 
Buke of Bedford and theFoundline Hospital, whose trustees 
own a great deal of land in the neighbourhood. The conse-. 
quence is the erection of such streets as Ghiildfordnstreet, 
Bernard-street, and the houses comprising Brunswick and 
Bussell Squares, and Tavistock-place and Chapel, the east 
side of Wobum-place, &c. 

''During this time the death of Mr. Leroux occurred, and 
his larffe property being submitted to the hammer, nimibers 
of smaU houses wdre sold for less than £150, at rents of £20 
per annum each. The value of money decreasing at this 
time, from £30 to £40 were demanded as rents for these 
paltry habitations ; hence many who could obtain the means 
became builders : carpenters, retired publicans, leather- 
workers, haymakers, &c. — each contrived to build his house, 
and every street was lengthened in its turn. The barracks 
for the Life Guards in Chalton-street, became a very diminu* 
tive square, and now we really find several of these streets 
approaching the Old Pancras-road. 

" The company of Skinners, who own thirty acres of land, 
perceiving these projectors succeed in covering the north side 
of the New-road from Somers-place to Battle Bridge, and 
that the street named from them has reached the ' Brill ' 
tavern, have offered the ground to Mr. Burton to build upon, 
and it is now covered by Judd-street, Tonbridge-place, and a 
new chapel for some description of dissenters or other ; and 
thus, Mr. Editor, we have lived to see Somers Town com- 
pletely annexed to London. 

'' After several fruitless attempts to support the old chapel 
in Wilsted-street, the members of the Established Ohurch 
gave way to the Baptists, who flourish wonderfully, and have 
a Lancasterian school to assist. The venerable little St. Fan- 
eras Church still remains, but it is too true an emblem of the 
decline of our church, shrinking into nothing in comparison 
with its towering rivals (the chapels just mentioned) and the 
noble parish workhouse adjoining. 

'* To return^ howeyer, to the fiTew-road, where, dose by a 

74 8T. PAKOEA0— -PAffr Aim PBS8B1IT. 

pretty little cottage^ surToiinded by a large floorer gardexii and 
nrontrng another of yegetablesy.we find tbey are about to erect 
a magnificent square, to be called Euston-square, and this, 
with Seymour-place, will complete the connection with 
Tottenham Court-rocid. 

'^To conclude: Clarendon-square^ which encloses the Poly- 
gon, contains on the north side, the establishments of the 
Abb^ Carron, a gentleman who does his native country 
honour. He resides in the house lately occupied by the 
builder Leroux, and presides over four schools : for young 
ladies, poor girls, young gentlemen, and poor boys. A dor- 
mitory, bakehouse, &c., are situated between his house and 
the emigrant Catholic Chapel recently bailt, which contains a 
monument to the Princess Cond^ ; mrther on is the school 
for the poor girls, and at the back of the whole are convenient 
buildings for the above purposes, and a large garden. The 

feneral voice of the place is in favour of the Abb6, and he 
as been of incalculable service to his distressed fellow- 
sufferers, who are enthusiastic in his praise.^' 

Mr. Malcolm's interesting description of his own times, 
needs some additions and explanations. The changes of 
which he had been an eye-witness from his '* residence in the 
north of London," are well depicted by him. He had, no 
doubt, many times passed through the white turnstile where 
Judd-place formerly stood, and walked through the meadows 
to the old church ; and the Somers-town of 1813 which had 
sprung up on a part of their site, inhabited principally by 
the many foreigners who made it their permanent home, 
presented to him a strong contrast. But the cutting of the 
*^ New-road," from Paddington to Islington, through the vast 
expanse of verdant meadows, in the years 1756-7, prepared 
the way, as Mr. Malcolm observed, for the marvellous changes 
which took place in this part of the then suburbs, now the 
north-western part of the great metropolis. Like all altera- 
tions or improvements the project met with great opposition. 
It was pointed out by its advocates that *^ it would be a 
meaiis of avoiding the driving of cattle through the streets to 
Smithfield Market, and in times of threatened invasion the 
New-road would form a complete line of circumvallation, and 
His Majesty's forces could then easily and expeditiously 
march that way into Essex to defend our coasts, without 
passing through the cities of London and Westminster.^' An 
Act was introduced and passed in the reign of George the 


Second for the purpose ; bat it met with tlie opposition of the 
Dukes of Bedford and Portland. The Duke of Bedford 
opposed its oonstruction on the plea of its contiguity to Bed- 
fojnl House^ his town mansion, fearing that the dust from the 
road might annoy him, though half a mile off, and buildings 
might be erected which would intercept his prospect. Both 
these objections were idle, because of uie distance of the road 
from his mansion ; and, according to Walpole, he was ** too 
short-sighted to see the prospect if he shoiud happen to be in 
town." The Duke of Grafton supported the BiQ, and after 
a fierce legal contention, it was ultimately decided that the 
road should be formed. A clause in the Act prohibited the 
erection of buildings within fifty feet of the road, and em- 
powered the authorities of parishes through which it passed 
to pull down such erections, and levy the expenses on the 
offender's goods and chattels, without proceeding in the usual 
way by indictment. In consequence of this prohibition long 
gardens were laid out in front of the houses which were 
built on either side of the road, but in many instances the 
law was evaded, and shops in process of time were brought to 
the frontage of the road. From St. Pancras Church, how- 
ever, to Gower-street, a pleasant Boulevard appearance is still 

The building of streets and squares soon followed when a 

good road was completed. In a newspaper, published on 
eptember 22nd, 1756, it was stated : " A scheme, we hear, 
is already concerted to build no less than forty new streets 
contiguous to different parts of the New-road. The road is 
said to bid fair to be an expensive one, 100,000 cartloads of 
travel being thought to be rather under than over the mark 
tOT completing it.'' 

The ^'private road, intersected with paths in different 
directions,^' affords evidence still of a desire to retain that 
privacy by means of gates with lodge-keepers. That object 
may be partially secured, but this remna!at of exclusiveness 
is altogether of the past, and is attended with inconveniences 
far greater than the comparative quietness which the in- 
habitants may have secured to them. A few years since a 
company of soldiers who had returned from India and had 
come by the North- Western Railway, were at first refused 
admittance by the porter at this gate. A word from the 
officer in command to the pioneers to go to the front, however^ 
soon occasioned a willing compliance, and the men un- 

aceustraied to such puny obstmetiDiis passed tbtough. Not 
80 was it, howeyer, in the case of a lady who was seized with 
a fit in Tayistock-square^ when a cab was conveying her in 
haste to the nearest hospital. On driving up to the gate in 
this " private road/' the keeper refused to open it, so the 
driver had to turn round, and find egress at another gate in 
Endsleigh-street. The remonstrances of the eye-^witnesses 
of such cruel and unexceptional exchisiveness were met by 
the official with the exphmation that he acted according to 
his instructions, and that the House of Gommons was the 
proper place in which to make complaint. 

The ''pretty cottage, surrounded by a large flower garden, 
and fronting another of vegetables," known as Montgomery's 
Nursery Garden, was on the north side of the New-road, and 
in that cottage Dr. Wolcott (Peter Pindar) ended his days 
in partial blindness. His reckless and somewhat profane 
rhymes woxdd scarcely find readers now ; but intolerance and 
injustice favoured such writings when Pitt was Trime 
Minister, and when an obstinate self-willed monarch persisted 
*in a policy of war, the burden of which we feel to the 
present day. 

In Cyrus Bedding's Beminiscences of the Remarkable Men 
he had met with, he gives a long account of Dr. Wolcott, and 
relates several conversations he had with him in his latter 
days, serving to show that he was not the extremely ir- 
religious man his opponents represented him to be, and that 
he possessed many redeeming qualities. Not to be a sub- 
servient follower of the Church and King party was a suffi- 
cient reason, fifty years ago, to be branded as an infidel and a 

Near the site of Dr. Wolcott's cottage and garden 
surrounding it (then called Euston-grove,) was erected 
the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway. 
The station was considered to be the handsomest and the 
most extensive in the kingdom. Since that time (1838) 
many improvements have, been made. The centre of the 
north side of Euston-square has been opened as the carriage 
entrance to the station. The railway system throughout the 
kingdom has produced far more marvellous changes than 
those which Mr. Malcolm saw, by which '^ time and space 
have been almost annihilated.^' So accustomed have the 
present generation become to the present state of things that 
&ey wonder how their grandfathers could have endured the 

Blow*coaoli syvtem of their day> Yfhesi Oieorge tlie Third wm 
satisfied with his annual ^' Progress^' of a clay's journey to 
spend the season at Weymouth. Now, the humblest subject 
of Her Majesty may, if he so determine, visit the most remote 
parts of his own country, or even spend '^ a week in Paris '' 
through the feicilities afforded. 

Nearly seventy years ago, except the few houses in the 
Duke's-road, still retaining that name,, there were no buildings 
on the south side of the road, the Foundling Hospital being 
then the most conspicuous object. The " New '' bt Pancras 
Church was not commenced till 1819, six years after Mr. 
Malcolm wrote. On the north side of the New-road, from 
the second street in Seymour-street, WeUesley-street (built 
when Marquis Wellesley was acquiring fame for the British 
arms) sixty years since there was an uninterrupted view of 
Hampstead and Highgate. The substantial wooden palings 
to the forecourts teU the period of their erection. Though 
small they are still well kept and neat residences. 

When Mr. Malcolm wrote, he seemed to possess a vivid 
remembrance of a '< famous Bowling Green House on the 
south side of the road, which had been noted for at least a 
eentury as a country retreat for Londonevs on a Sunday 
afternoon/' In the minutes of a vestry meeting in Si 
Giles's parish held in 1676, it was recorded : ^' A meeting is 
appointed with the parishioners of St. Andrew, Holbom, 
about the Bowling Green in Gray's Inn Fields, and the 
houses near thereabouts built/' An advertisement in a 
newspaper pubUshed in 1756 thus describes its locaUty, 
attractions, and means of approach : 

^'The Bowling Green House, near the Foundling Hospital, 
which commands an extensive and pleasant prospect, is fitted 
up in a genteel manner with great alterations. Coffee, te8> 
and hot loaves evory day. The bowling greai, which is 
in exceeding fine order, is now opened by your humble 

«^'^^^*' Jos. Bakras.- 

''The coach-way is through Gray's-inn-lane Turnpike, 
up the first taming on the len hand, and in at the second 

Mr. Malcolm says, ''Lower down, on the c^posite side was 
the ' Brill,' a comfortable country tavern, and perhaps more 
ancieftt than its rival," — the Bowling Green House. 

About fifty years sinee,. MiLLawseBOBy the aiastez^ ef a 


Bchool in Wilsted*-8treet occasionally took lus boys (one of 
whom well remembers it) for a treat in the summer-time to 
the '* Brill/' where they enjoyed games, and took tea after- 
wards on the roof of the house^ from which they had a fine 
yiew of the oonntry . 

The existence of the ''Brill'' was considered by Dr. 
Stukeley to be confirmatory of his theory that a Boman 
encampment once existed on the site around the old church, 
and otners also haye supposed it to have been a Roman camp. 
The pavement which came to an angle in front of the gin- 
shop for several years on its site is still remaining. There, 
on Sunday mornings, preaching and discussions of a religious, 
moral or political character were carried on, in which various 
preachers or declaimers held forth to their special congrega- 
tions. Edward Ball, a noted man, who possessed varied gifts 
and acquirements, had his special place where his circle of 
admirers wotdd congregate. He was a good scholar, a teacher 
of languages, and also of music, but he never succeeded in 
gaining much of this world's goods. He died in Oastle- 
terrace, Kentish Town, in 1871. 

The Midland Railway arches in the neighbourhood now 
shelter these preaching and debating circles on Sunday 
mornings : but whether for edification or otherwise, they at 
least serve to stir up the minds that might otherwise be 

Perry-street and Brill House were erected by Mr. Perry, 
a wealthy brickmaker. Only that part of the street remains 
which terminates with the Perry-street School, a British 
School for many years, but now belonging to the School 
Board for London. 

Brewer-street, one side of Skinner-street, and several 
other houses and courts have been levelled to make room for 
the Midland Railway Station ; and the SomersTown Market, 
which was a scene of excitement on Saturday nights and 
Sunday mornings for many years, is now confined to Chapel- 

Chapel-street, from time immemorial, seems to have been 
the favourite market-place in Somers Town. Skinners-street, 
part of Brill-row, and Brewers-street, also formed an im- 
portant part of the market till their partial or total destruction. 
All kinds of shops which appeal to the appetite, the necessity, 
or the vanity of the frequenters of Chapel-street, are Still to 
be seen. Interspersed is an occasional half-penny shaving 


shop : and for the mental pabidam is displayed tlie ** Police 
News/' and the endless variety of half-penny and penny 
serialsy containing tales of highwaymen, or pirates, or love 
tales in which murder and suicide play a prominent patt ; in 
the same shops '^sweet-stuff/^ in its various colours and 
forms^ lies in wait to beguile the young of their half-pence. 
Very few of the pure sweets or comforts of Hfe fall to their 
lot. In front of this long line of shops (leaving but a narrow 
passage in the road-way) are the barrows of the costermongers, 
many of them vending similar articles to those displayed by 
some of the shopkeepers. On Saturday evenings (tne only 
time when improvident luxuries are possible to go off) there 
may be seen engravings, or bright staring coloured pictures 
in frames. These attract many gazers, but apparently few 

The "old chapel in Wilsted-street," the front of which is 
in Chapel-street, has returned to its original owners, the 
** members of the Established Church " ; the Baptists, who 
** flourished'' so wonderfully, according to Mr. Malcolm's es- 
timate, having at last surrendered the building. A Mr. Car- 
penter for some years was the pastor. Then Mr. James 
Nunn, who left the chapel when he and his friends built 
*' Zion " Chapel, Goldingtoh Crescent. That chapel has 
passed into the hands of the Presbyterians with the Rev. W. 
Ewart as their hard-working and zealous minister. The '* old 
chapel '^ would not be recognised by its former owners : the 
galleries have been removed, and the chapel became for a 
time a mission hall for schools and meetings for mission pur- 
poses in connection with Christ Church, and is now used as 
*' The Agar Town Ragged School." 

In Wilsted-street lived John Gale Jones, for some years, 
till his death in April 1838, at the age of 67. He there kept 
a chemist or apothecary's shop, and always seemed to be 
struggling with poverty. He lived in the midst of many 
persons who did not sympathise with his political sentiments, 
especially did not the French refugees who had escaped from 
the results, as they thought, of similar political principles in 
their own country. He was a leading member of the cele- 
brated Corresponding Society at the time of the first French 
Revolution ; and he was a foremost speaker on all local and 
general questions, taking always the popular, which was then 
also the losing side. In February 1810, he was committed 
to Kewgate for daring to oppose the Tory power of that dayr 

Sir Franeifl Burdett was conmutted for the iame offence, and 
both were released when Parliament was pirorogtMd on the 
21st of June. Gale Jones had been tried, at' Warwick 
Assises, for advocating Bepublican doctrines some years 
previously, and was acquitted mainly through the skilful 
advocacy of Sir Samuel KomiUy. Jones is stm remembered 
by one old inhabitant at least, as a fluent, earnest and im- 
pressive speaker, and as gifted with a fine voice. In private 
life he was esteemed as an unassuming and well-informed 

In the same street, for many years, lived Dr. Squirrell, or, 
as he was familiarly called, Dr. Squirt. He practised as a 
physician, and was distinguished for his eccentricities. He 
was the author of sevem medical works, one of which, 
*' Maxims of Health/' had an extensive sale. 

In Ohalton*Btreet there were at one time several alamode 
beef shops, which were supported mainly by the French in- 
halHtants. The removal of the barracks into Albany-«treet 
seen becanM a necessity, and houses were built in their room. 
Union-street was built as a continuation of Chalton-street, 
and a turnstile was passed through to cross a field direct to 
Camden-street. A board by the stile stated that the pa1&- 
way was by ** sufferance '' of the Duke of Bedford. When 
Oakley-square was built, this direct eommunication between 
Somers Town and Oamden-street was cut off by Werringtcm- 
street, leading to Bedford Ohapel in Charringtonnartxeet. 

When the first houses of Somers Town were built in 1786, 
the difficulty of access to them in winter time was a great 
drawback, and hence many of them remained unoccupied for 
some time. But when a hxge number of French Boyalists 
found re&ge in England, no more appropriate spot could be 
selected for them than tiiat of St. i^ancras with its ancient 
associations. Of course they brought with them their national 
characteristic& and form of religion, and their priests or- 
ganised the new community. 

The Boman Catholic Chapel in Clarendon-square, founded 
by the Abb^ Carron, who devoted himself entirely to the 
promotion of the welfare of his flock, is a monument of his 
usefulness. The four schools he founded, referred to by Mr. 
Malcolm, serve to show that there were two classes to be 
provided for, the comparatively well-to-do and the poor. 
The indiseriminate assemblage of children is by no means 
desirable, itefinement and delicacy of feeling frequently 


exist where, unhappily, there may be great need, and even 
privation ; but experience proves that the separation of 
classes is most desirable. The good Abb^ made the dis- 
tinction, and no doubt it worked with advantage during the 
time of its necessity. 

Besides the monument in that chapel to the Princess 
Cond^, there is one to Jean Frangois de la Marche, which 
states that he landed in England on February 15, 1791, and 
died 25 November 1806. And another is '* In memory of the 
venerable and saintly John Derinckx, born at Dinore, in 
Belgium, August 1776. He was pastor of the church of St. 
Aloysius, Somers Town, and founder of the school attached 
to the same, who, after fifty-four years' faithful service in 
the priesthood, was called to his Lord on the 21st December 
1855. On his soul, sweet Jesus, have mercy. * Precious in 
the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints.' " 

Eight years after Mr^ Malcolm^s tribute to the labours 
of the good Abb^ was published, those labours . came to an 
end. In the church of St. Aloysius, in Clarendon-square, on 
a tablet is the following beautiful inscription : 

"To the memory of the Rev. Gay Toussaint Julien Oarron, 
born at Bennes, 1760, the Founaer of this Chapel, and of 
many charitable institutions in England and France. He 
was truly a man of God ; most zealous and persuasive in 
preaching the Gospel, by word and example ; the father of 
the poor, the protector of the widow, the supporter and 
cherisher of the orphan, the guardian of the aged and infirm, 
the friend of the destitute and imfortunate, the comforter of 
the afflicted. In manners most gentle and mild ; in character 
most disinterested and sincere. His life from a remarkably 
early period was one continued act of indefatigable exertion 
and laoour, for the honour and glory of God and the good of 
his neighbour ; with a heart expansive in every kind and 
tender ^ling, as it was boundless in charity and every act 
of benevolence and compassion, and with an inviolable attach- 
ment to his king and his country. He died at Paris on the 
15th March 1821, most sincerely and deeply lamented. His 
memory will remain to his surviving friends most dear. May 
the recollection of his efforts in the cause of hxmianity last 
till the end of time. B.I.P." 

The Abbe and his good deeds are now almost forgotten, 
except, perhaps, by some few individuals in the community 
for whon^ he especially laboured. The present generation as 



a rule are unaware of the fact that such a rare man ever 
lived. One old inhabitant on the north side of the square, 
in answer to the inquiry as to his knowledge of Leroux^ or 
the Abb^, never heard of such persons ever living there. 
He said there had been a ladies' school in the largest house 
for many years, and in his own house, which was next 
door, the Rev. T. J. Judkin had resided previous to his own 
occupancy. The only builders he had any remembrance of 
were two, one of whom was Alderman Johnson, who built 

Father Derinckz succeeded the Abbe in 1821, and founded 
the convent school which is at the back of the church. The 
schools and bakery, etc., referred to by Mr. Malcolm, were 
on the south, not on the north side of the square, as stated 
by him. The present convent school was built on the site. A 
small garden and playground is attached. The boys' school 
in Grenville-street was given up a few years since. 

When Clarendon Square and the Polygon were finished, 
many artists took up their abode in what was then the aristo- 
cratic portion of the town. One writer in the " Year Book," 
edited by "William Hone, 1826, says, "Somers Town is full 
of artists, as a reference to the Koyal Academy catalogue 
will evince. In Clarendon Square still lives, I believe, 
Scriven the engraver, an artist of great ability and, in 
his day, of much consideration. In the same neighbourhood 
dwells the venerable Dr. Wilde, who may be justly termed 
the best engraver of his age, for upwards of half a century. 
From his pencil came the whole oi the portraits illustrating 
Bell's edition of the English Theatre, a series of which the 
Rev. T. F. Dibdin, in his * Library Companion,' has spoken 
of as ' admirably executed, and as making the eyes sparkle 
and the heart dance of a dramatic virtuoso.' Not an actor, 
I believe, of any note, during the full period above-mentioned, 
can be named from whose lineaments the theatrical world is 
not indebted to the faithful and skilful hand of Dr. Wilde.'' 

In Charles-street, at the same period, lived William Glad- 
win, the engraver of a very large picture of St. Paul's 
Cathedral. It was valued as a faithful copy of the archi- 
tectural beauties of the building. 

In Seymour-street there was then much waste ground, 
partly fields, and partly in a transition state, but soon to be 
covered by the streets and courts now seen in this neighbour- 
hood, much to the regret then of some, to whom the Long 


Fields seemed to have beea almost a terrestrial paradise. 
Some persons remember yet, and point out the sight of, the 
fields in which they played when boys, and which are now 
covered by the extensive North- Western railway station. 
Where now is the Railway Clearing House (employing over 
a thousand clerks), but which was then waste ground, a large 
temperance meeting was held, which was addressed by that 
remarkable man Father Mathew. 

Johnson-street has become classical, from the fact of 
Charles Dickens having for a time resided there with his 
parents during the years 1825 and 1826* The residence is 
styled by Mr. Forster, in his Life of Dickens, as '* a small 
house in Somers Town, which the family occupied after 
lodging in little College-street ; " by Dr. Danson, one of his 
schoolfellows, ^* a very small house m a street leading out of 
Seymour-street, north of Mr. Judkin's chapel ; ^' and Mr. 
Forster adds, in another page, " In his father's house, which 
was at Hampstead through the first portion of the Morning- 
ton-street school time, then in the house out of Seymour- 
street mentioned by Dr. Danson, and afterwards, upon the 
elder Dickens going into the (reporters') gallery, in Bentinck- 
street, Manchester square, Charles had continued to live.*' 

These descriptions leave a doubt as to the actual street in 
Somers Town : but a correspondent of " The Camden and 
Kentish Towns Gazette," has settled the question in the 
following letter which appeared in that paper in January 
1872, dated from Kentish Town : 

*' I have read with great interest the extracts from Mr. Forater's admirable 
book, and also the correspondeace in the ** Daily Telegraph*' about the early 
days of Charles Dickens, and if you will kindly allow mo the space in your 
valuable paper for a few remarks, I shall be obliged. I should first observe that 
my father was one of the junior masters at the school in the Hampstead- road, 
where Dickens attended. From my recollection of conversation (I am now 
speaking of twenty -five or thirty years ago), Mr. Dickens, sen., lived in John- 
son-street Somers Town, a neighbourhood that would better tally with the 
description of a poverty-stricken street thau Bay ham-street, Camden Town. 
Amongst other duties, my father had to prepare the school accounts and pre- 
sent them for payment. I can perfectly recollect his description of a visit to 
the house on the north side of the east end of the street, and the great interest 
Mr. Dickens took in his boy's progress at school. One gentleman who was at 
the school in Dickens' time, is under the impression that he did not particu- 
larly distinguish himself, but I quite remember he was spoken of as having 
taken the Latin prize — a great distinction, I consider, in a school of two or 
three hundred boys. A very capital description of the school was given in the 
weekly publication edited by Mr. Dickens some years ago, and is worth reading. 
The paper was headed " Our School," and I think I could throw light on a 
good many of the incidents mentioned. Yours, &c., R. S." 

o 2 

84 err. fancras — fast and fresent. 

Jolinson-streety at the period referred to, was the last street 
in Somers Town, and adjoined the fields between it and 
Camden Town. It never was much otherwise than such a 
street as described by " R. S." The St. Pancras (New) 
Ohurch had been opened for worship little more than three 
years. Drummond-street was at that time the most access- 
ible way for young Dickens to pass to and fro to school ; 
especially would he go that way on account of meeting with 
schoolfellows in the neighbourhood. Daniel Tobin, one of 
his most intimate companions in the school days, lived '^ in 
one of the now old and grimy-looking stone fronted houses 
in George-street/^ writes Mr. Owen P. Thomas, who adds 
'' I had the honour of being Mr. Dickens' schoolfellow for 
about two years (1824-1826).^* Drummond-street was then 
a quiet semi-rural street, Euston-grove, through which it 
passed, indicating the fact. It was bounded on the north 
side by Rhodes's extensive "cow-fields/' and dairy in the 

Dr. Danson says, in his letter to Mr. Forster, '* I quite 
remember Dickens on one occasion heading us in Drummond- 
street, in pretending to be poor boys, and asking the passers- 
by for charity — especially old ladies : one of whom told us 
she * had no money for beggar boys.' On these adventures, 
when the old ladies were quite staggered by the impudence 
of the demand, Dickens would explode with laughter and 
take to his heels.'' 

Dr. DansoUy amongst other youthful reminiscences, relates 
the following : *' I met him one Sunday morning, shortly 
after he left the school, and we very piously attended^ the 
morning service at Seymour-street Chapel. I am sorry to 
say Master Dickens did not attend, in the slightest degree to 
the service, but incited me to laughter by declaring his 
dinner was ready, and the potatoes would be spoiled, and in 
fact behaved in such a manner that it was lucky for us we 
were not ejected from the chapel.'* 

That chapel, then called Somers Chapel, was opened for 
worship in the beginning of the same year, 1827, and the 
line of houses composing Upper Seymour-street was eventually 
completed. Dr. Moore appointed the Rev. W. Gilly and the 
Rev. T. J. Judkin the ministers to what was then called a 
cbapel-of-ease to St. Pancras Church. They obtained par- 
ticular notice and esteem for their zealous and unceasing 
devotedness in their work. At the dose of the afternoon 


service they inyariably assembled tlie children at the altar, 
and catechised them on points of Scripture, particularly in 
the service of the day, and the greater part of the congre- 
gation remained. Dr. Moore attended on one occasion, and 
he afterwards observed, that 'Hhe inhabitants of Somers 
Town had cause to bless God for that day which brought 
these able ministers amongst them,'* A meeting was held in 
the church at their instance to consider a plan for relieving 
the distressed poor in the immediate district of Somers Town, 
Spaniards as well as natives, at their own habitations during 
the inclement season, when about £200 was immediately 

In November of the year in which the chapel was opened, 
another mode of attracting attention was adopted, and was 
thus described in a newspaper of that day : '' The chapel in 
Seymour-street, Somers Town, was on Simday morning 
crowded to excess, in consequence of its having been an- 
nounced in several of the public journals, that a Bomish 
priest would then publicly renounce the Eoman Catholic 
religion. The ceremony took place as expected, and was of 
an interesting character." This proceeding was considered 
by some inhabitants as in bad taste, being calculated to offend 
and irritate the many Soman Catholics who had sought 
refuge in the town. 

Mr. Judkin eventually became the sole minister of Somers 
Chapel. He was at one time an exceedingly popular preacher, 
the chapel being crowded by a congregation, attracted 
mainly no doubt by the charms of a deep and melodious 
voice which, with the aid of feeling and art, made his reading 
effective, and impressed the truths he preached upon the 
minds and hearts of his hearers. Mr. Grant included a des- 
cription of Mr. Judkin in one of his volumes on the Popular 
Preachers of London, and devoted some part of his account 
to a story respecting his Hymn-book, and his persuading 
his congregation to buy three editions of it, though making 
scarcely any alteration in the hymns, save some corrections 
which the readers had been requpsted to make in the first 
edition of the book. The story which Mr. Grant related, to 
show, the popularity of Mr. Judkin, and the gain he wished 
to make of it, is strictly true. He opened the church for 
service in the evening (which at that time was a new feature 
in Church of England places of worship), and he charged an 
extra pew-rent, the payment for the sittings in the morning 
and afternoon not including the evening service. 


The date of the first edition of Mr. Judkin's Hymn-book 
is 1834, and at that time the Church of England was far 
behind other denominations in devotional psalmody; no 
wonder therefore that Somers Chapel took a foremost place, 
and helped to supersede the doggrel of Tate and Brady, 
though their verses are still attached to some editions of the 
Prayer Book. Mr. Judkin's hymns consisted of but four 
verses of four lines each verse, the author contending that 
that number of verses was sufficient for any tune to be sus- 
tained without wearying a congregation. 

From various causes the one-time crowded church in Sey- 
mour-street, declined, and the former popular preacher, from 
failing health and age, lived in retirement at 49, Euston- 
square, till his decease a few years since. 

The present incumbent of this church (now called St. Mary's 
Parish Church, Somers Town) has laboured very assiduously 
for some three or four years past to revive the interest of 
former days. A gradual increase in attendance at the services 
has taken place, and the Rev. T. Stephenson is being rewarded 
by seeing a greatly improved interest amongst the people 
imder his charge. By various means, he has endeavoured to 
influence the inhabitants around. The day schools connected 
with this church are situate in the Polygon, and are well 
attended, as are also the Sunday classes ; and once a week, 
in the winter months, an entertainment in accordance with 
modem practice is provided. 

No part of London presents a more peculiar population 
than does that of Somers Town. The large number of French- 
men who made it their home when anarchy existed in their 
own country, bringing with them their national characteristics 
and form of religion ; many representatives also of the sister 
isle, who seem to have a natural affinity in temperament as 
well as in faith with their more polished co-religionists — 
besides a due admixture of the natives of nearly eveiy nation — 
render the present population (some are the third or fourth 
generation of those who were the first settlers in Somers 
Town) the most difficult to deal with, especially by a clergy- 
man of the Established Church. When the church of St. 
Luke's, near King's Cross, was removed for the erection of 
the Midland Railway Station, the inhabitants of Somers 
Town were entirely deprived of its accommodation, as that 
church was re-erected in Kentish Town, The munificent 
liberality of Mr. George Moore, however, supplied the want 


by the erection at his sole cost of a cliurcli and commodious 
schools in Chalton- street with an entrance in Ossulston-street. 
This church is called Christ Church, and was erected in 1868. 
It is endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, an absolute 
necessity in so poor a neighbourhood. The number of in- 
habitants in the district is estimated at 12,000. The fifth 
series of Special Services was held in October, 1872, extending 
over eight days, and each service was well attended. A 
review of the efforts made to christianise this ^^ Nazareth '' of 
the metropolis will show the great importance and value of 
systematic organisation under a zealous and painstaking 
clergyman. In the services of the church care has been 
taken to make them attractive, and the choir is said to be 
equal to any in North London. Four Bible classes are pro- 
vided for working men, one of which is specially for the 
blind, who meet at the Brill Hall. In the course of the year, 
20,000 visits had been made to the homes of the people in the 
district by the pastor, the Eev. J. N". "Worsfold, m.a., and his 
clerical and lay assistants. 

The greatest gain to a poor neighbourhood, however, 
arsies from the introduction of good schools. Those attached 
to this church are reported to be flourishing, both as re- 
gards attendance and efficiency. The average number of 
children in attendance is 800; and out of an expenditure 
of £700, £250 has to be met by voluntary subscriptions. 

In no district in the metropolis, perhaps, can there be found 
more squalor, or more depressing scenes than in this. The 
clergyman who, in the daily exercise of his pastoral office, 
is looked upon as a minister of mercy and consolation, 
needs great wisdom and discrimination. The Rev. Mr. 
Worsfold is well qualified for this responsible office, from a 
large experience gained in former parishes especially in 

In consequence of the high rents demanded in Somers 
Town after Mr. Leroux's death, when his house .property 
passed into other hands, " many who could obtain the means, 
became builders — carpenters, retired publicans, leather 
workers, haymakers, &c., each contrived to build his house, 
and every street was lengthened in its turn." The result is 
to be seen in the varied size and style of some of the houses. 
Here and there, as in Hampden-street, the small detached 
villa may be observed, with the remains of trellis-work in 
front, and in another street there is a portico, with wood 


carving of a vine and grapes around the door-posts. The 
square blocks of streets were finished by degrees. In Middle- 
sex-street^ which is bounded by Chapel-street and Hampden- 
street^ the houses vary from the small four-roomed tenement 
to the larger one of eight rooms. But all are now crowded 
by as many as possible of those who formerly occupied the 
houses in firewer-street, one side of Skinner-street, and the 
surrounding streets now occupied by the Midland Bail way 

In such streets as Middlesex-street^ the " marine store '* 
dealers' shops are suggestive, not so much of thrift as of ex- 
treme poverty and of the dishonesty to which it tends. The 
larger houses are occupied by laundresses. In shed-like shops 
the wood cutters, female as well as male, perform their labor- 
ious and badly-paid work. The numerous small ^* general 
shops " are the chief means of '' distributing '^ the necessaries 
of life here as in all poor neighbourhoods. The weekly score 
seems to be unavoidable, and necessarily follows the payment 
of an additional profit, and, not unfrequently, adulteration 
and short weight in the inferior articles which they are 
obliged to take, or go without. In some instances, the credit 
is gone ; but necessity leads to ingenious devices, and so the 
credit and good name of others is made use of, but at an 
increased percentage, for payment is made for the favour. In 
vain does the philanthropist try to benefit and raise the con- 
dition of the poor, and the badly-paid labouring classes, 
whether by means of improved dweuings or the estkblishment 
of palatial market-places, or by the setting up of co-operative 
stores. The houses in which they exist were no temptation 
to the former inhabitants ; the degeneration has arisen from 
the unfavourable circumstances or bad habits of the present 
tenants. Of course the Somers' Arms, the Coopers' Arms, or 
the King's Head, are large and flourishing establishments. 

When these blocks of houses were built, space was left in 
the centre for gardens; but it was afterwards discoyered 
that land was too valuable to be thus employed, and 
eventually courts of still smaller houses were erected within 
these squares. The occupiers of these small dwellings soon 
introduced the usual squalor and strife which close contiguity 
engenders. These cul de sacs, or Places as they are often 
called, are occupied generally by the classes who gain their 
Jiving in *^the road;" an expressive phrase suggestive of 
every kind of out-door salesman, of which the '* coster '* is the 


most generally known. In these courts^ three shillings per 
week is paid for the rent of a very small back room ; the 
front room, which is a little larger, is three shillings and 
sixpence^ and a four-roomed house (should one be tenantless) 
is eagerly caught up at eight shillings and sixpence a week : 
and a room in such an apparently uninviting locality does 
not remain empty a day ! The rent is seldom in arrear ; and 
the class of persons who occupy these rooms seem to prefer 
them to more respectable apartments at the same rates, on 
account of the greater liberty they can indulge in in an out- 
of-the-way court. 

The first houses in Middlesex-street seem to have been 
built in 1808, as that date is affixed to a row of some six or 
eight named Evans Place. Opposite to them, and in the 
midst of this unpromising district, is the Mission Church and 
Institute founded by the excellent Dr. James Hamilton, of 
Eegent Square Church, in 1849. It is a plain, neat building ; 
the interior consists of two comparatively small class-rooms 
on the ground-floor, and a large hall above. In front of the 
building is a caution, with a reward of five pounds on in- 
formation being given of the offender who breaks the windows 
of the Hall. The windows are protected, however, by means 
of wire guards. Before the erection of this building, rooms 
for mission and Sunday school purposes had been taken over 
a stable on the opposite side of the way. The day-school 
has been open many years, and Mr. Williams is its efficient 
master. In the evenings and on Sundays the building is 
utilised for carrying on the many agencies of the mission. 
Mr. FeUowes, now the minister of a flourishing church at the 
West End, was one of its former missionaries and pastors. 
The Rev. J. Hoppus was the last stated missionary, and he 
was compelled to resign from ill-health. 

The mission was supplied for some time by students from 
the Presbyterian College in Queen Square, till in 1870 Mr. 
Woffendale was invited temporarily to supply the charge, 
which he fulfilled for twelve months. In the meantime the 
mission church so grew and prospered that an ofler was made 
to him to accept its permanent charge. This he accepted, 
and commenced his stated work in January 1871. The 
training of Mr. Woffendale for his position has been peculiar, 
but qualifying in a high degree. He was educated at the 
famous Quaker school, in Kendal, Westmoreland, under the 
late Samuel Marshall. When 14 years of age Mr. Gt. 0, 


Glyn, the late Baron Wolverton, offered him a situation 
in the London Railway Clearing House, which he accepted 
and retained till he was appointed to his present responsible 
office. His spare hours were deyoted to study, and he ac- 
quired facility in debate in seyeral literary and discussion 
classes. His first introduction to Christian work was in 
connection with Mr. John Macgregor, m.a., better known as 
'' Srob Roy," from his canoe voyages up the Jordan and other 
rivers and seas. 

The peculiar work needed in such a neighbourhood as 
Somers Town requires such an agent as Mr. Woffendale has 
proved himself to be. In a paper in the " Weekly Review 
and Presbyterian Record," for October 19, 1872, entitled 
* 'Within and Without,*' is an account of this Mission, and a 
description of a service at the King's Cross Theatre. The 
writer thus speaks of the preacher: " Mr. Woffendale needed 
no introduction, as he is well-known in the locality. His 
kindly look and ever-ready smile have won for him the 
esteem of all classes in Somers Town.*' This power for use- 
fulness and influence can only be secured by a right- minded, 
warm-hearted man. It has not been obtained in his case by 
bestowment of temporal relief, for scarcely more than ten 
pounds has been given during the year ; but the warm grasp 
of the hand, and the evident sincerity of the desire to benefit 
his fellow men, has so attached the hardworking men and 
women to this Mission Hall that it has at length become in- 
conveniently crowded, and the King's Cross Theatre has 
been secured for afternoon and evening services besides those 
at the Mission Church. A choir of thirty singers for the 
latter, and one of forty for the Theatre, both formed of the 
youjig people gathered together by the Mission, have been 
a valuable means of attraction. Cheering, elevating psalmody 
acts alike beneficially upon the preacher and the congregation. 
The aim of the Mission is also directed to the social side of 
human nature. On Tuesday evening a kind of "Penny 
Reading '* is provided, which has been a stepping-stone to 
higher things. Many who attend this entertainment are of 
the hardworking class. A poor woman, for instance, who has 
been engaged in wood-chopping all day, looks forward to this 
meeting as a means of cheering and sweetening her hard lot. 

Amongst the worshippers on the Lord's Day are many who 
have been brought in by means of the out- door services 
under the arch of the Midland Railway who were formerly 


not only neglecters of salyation, but openly derided and op- 
posed it as an imposture. The church numbers more than 
120 members, and these are set to work, according to their 
peculiar ability or fitness. It was found necessary to have a 
temperauce society, a number of the members memorializing 
the minister and deacons of the mother church in Eegent 
Square for the use of the Hall for one night in the week. 
This has also proved another cause of success. 

Thus has grown up naturallv, as it were, another means of 
benefiting a population upon whom some have hitherto looked 
almost with despair. 

Amongst others who have laboured in the evangelization 
of this district, none have brought more energy and de- 
votedness to the work than has the Eev. TV. Ewart, of Zion 
Presbyterian Church, Goldington Crescent. He had pre- 
viously been engaged in the work of his mission in one of 
the arches of the Midland Railway, Pancras Road. Like his 
friend Mr. Woffendale, he has been undaunted by difficulties 
or opposition ; he is unwearied in out-door preaching and in 
answering the objections of unbelievers ; and has also seen, 
as did the Rev. J. H. Wilson in Aberdeen, the absolute ne- 
cessity of promoting the Total Abstinence movement as the 
only successful means for the prevention and cure of in- 
temperance. Other means are adopted for the furtherance 
of the great end in view, and the latest and most successful 
has been the opening of a Lodge of " Good Templars." 
Zion Chapel was built by the late Rev. James Nunn when he 
left the " little chapel " in Chapel street. It has a residence 
attached for the minister, a somewhat unusual, but no doubt 
very convenient provision. 

In concluding this chapter on Somers Town the reflection 
seems to be forced upon the writer, that there must be great 
blame somewhere for the squalor and neglect in some parts 
of the district, which has been allowed to spring up and 
fester, where once existed pleasant paths through green 
meadows. The inhabitants themselves are no doubt princi- 
pally to be censured, but many of them have been made 
what they are by the " force of circumstances." The land- 
lords and landowners who have been enriched inconsequence 
of the crowding of the people into courts which should never 
have been built, thus making every yard of land more 
profitable, have not apparently been conscious of their in- 
creased responsibility, and the claim resting upon them to 


aid every work intended to ameliorate the condition of the 
people from whom they have obtained their wealth. And 
the Goyemment also nave been neglectful hitherto of its 
peculiar functions to enforce wholesome sanitary regulations 
in this and in similar districts ; or in providing an education 
calculated to make the young dissatisfied with their lot, and 
to inspire them with the determination to rise above the 
miserable condition with which their parents are satisfied. 
Railway enterprise, however^ has been a great reformer^ by 
breaking up some objectionable places, and no doubt will do 
much more ; but great vigilance is needed lest other places 
should likewise degenerate. Where the dwelling-places of 
the poor are thus destroyed, it should be made incumbent on 
the destroyers to build up suitable and sufficient houses as 
near as possible to the neighbourhood they have levelled. 
All philanthropists are looking with anxiety for the future 
beneficial results from the em)rts of the School Board. A 
large school is to be built in the very midst of, perhaps, this 
worst part of Somers Town. The present voluntary schools 
and moral agencies will thereby be aided and stimulated, 
and hope arises that our national reproach for the toleration 
of squalor and ignorance will, ere long, in a great measure 
be mitigated if not removed. 

Before taking leave of Somers Town, more particular 
attention may be called to the extraordinary transformation 
effected at the eastern end by that ruthless Keformer the 
Railway. Opposite the King's Cross Great Northern Station, 
from Weston-place on the east to Skinner-street and Brill- 
row on the west, and thence from one side of Skinner-street 
in the Euston-road, including a row of large houses, in front 
of some of which was an enclosed green paddock with trees, 
and where St. Luke's Church was originally built, and so 
returning to King's Cross — all have disappeared ; and on the 
site has been erected the Midland Railway Station^ not ex- 
celled for vastness by any in the world. Its mountainous 
roof, formed of a single arch, is 700 feet in length, 240 feet 
in width of span, and 100 feet in height above the floor, 
which is raised 30 feet above the ground by the basement. 
For magnitude, and mechanical and architectural skill it is 
unsurpassed. But there is also connected with it, and near 
completion, one of the largest hotels in the world, not ex- 
cepting any in the United States. It occupies 2,460 square 
yards, and including the station, it covers a space of four 


acres^ upon whicli were formerly nearly 3,000 houses. On 
the north of the station are the several lines of approach 
from the viaducts which cross Camden Town and Agar Town ; 
and on the south end, fronting Euston-road, is the stately 
architectural building already referred to, the Railway 
Hotel. The frontage is of 665 feet in extent. There is a 
private roadway along the front, with an ascent above the 
level of the Euston-road of more than twenty feet. The 
basement, which lies underneath the Hotel and roadway con- 
sists of cellars for various stores. The Clock Tower at the 
east end is 270 feet high to the spire, and the West Tower 
is 260 feet high ; each has ornamental turrets and pin- 
nacles. The long line of the frontage is relieved by two 
oriels, which are surmounted by tall battlemented gables in 
the roof, and another oriel in the Clock Tower. 

The entrance to the Hotel is at the projecting western 
extremity, which is entered by a porch with an arcade. The 
interior accommodation is on a vast scale. Two hundred 
and fifty beds are fitted up. There is a dining-room for 
parties. The grand coffee-room, of oblong shape, slightly 
curved in its length, with two circular ends, is 100 feet long, 
26 feet wide, and 26 feet high, with seven windows looking 
on the private road and terrace in front. 

The arch to the Gateway Tower of the departure road is 
38 feet high and 23 feet wide : the arcade within consists of 
five arches on each side, dividing the two footways from the 
carriage road . The guests can descend to the booking office 
and railway platform at their departure without passing 
through or across the carriage road. The ground floor of 
the building is chiefly devoted to the railway waiting and 
refreshment rooms, &c., but the first and upper floor belong 
to the Hotel. 

Nearly 9,000 tons of iron, sixty million bricks, and 80,000 
cubic feet of dressed stone, besides immense quantities of con- 
crete for the foundations, it is estimated, have been used in 
the construction of this magnificent building. The mere 
fabric will cost the Midland Company £360,000, and the 
tasteful decoration and furnishing of the interior, which is 
carried out in almost luxurious style, will amoxmt to £160,000 
more. The chief designer and engineer is Mr. W. H. 
Barlow, c.e., ftnd the architect is Sir G. Gilbert Scott, r.a. 

The Hotel was formally opened on Monday the 6th May 
1873, having been five years in erecting, and was expectea 
to take eighteen months longer finally to complete it. 




SCHOOL ; Huntingdon's fboyidence chapel; his singulab 


episcopal CHUBCH. 

Gray's Inn Road derives it name from the ancient family of 
the De Grays of Wilton, who formerly occupied a town 
mansion on the site of Gray's Inn. 

Parton, in his " St. Giles's Hospital and Parish," says : 
" The ancient manor of Portpole is mentioned in a deed, 46 
Hen. III., by which Robert de Purtepole, possibly its then 
owner, gives to the Hospital of St. Giles ten shillings annual 
rent issuing from his house, St* Andrew, Holborn Parish, to 
find a chaplain to celebrate his anniversary obit in the hospital 
churchy as will be seen in the account of the hospital. In 
the next reign (about the year 1294) the manor became the 
property of the Lords Gray of Wilton, who had here their 
house or inn, which from them was named Gray's Inn." 

Dugdale says, that the estate was purchased from the Gray 
family in the reign of Edward III., by the prior and convent 
of Shene, in Surrey, and was demised by them, under their 
dissolution, to the students in law, when it was granted to the 
latter by the Crown in 1605, at a fee-farm rent of £6 13s. 4d., 
when they thereupon took the name of the Society of Gray's 

From the fact of this having been the residence of the 
Gray family, an altar-tomb of Purbeck marble in Pancras 
Church was supposed to have belonged to them ; but the 
inscription was sufficiently legible when seen by Weaver, 
to show that it really was a memorial of the Eve mmily, who 
resided in Kentish Town, as stated in Weaver's work on 
Funeral Monuments. 


The site of tlie inn was esteemed as most agreeable on 
account of its retirement, and was therefore readily chosen by 
barristers and students of the law, as well as of divinity. 
Like the other inns of court at one time, Gray's Inn was 
frequented by the sons of the nobility and wealthy gentry. 

** On looking through the Boll of Admission," says the 
Librarian^ by whose kindness and courtesy much of this in- 
formation has been communicated to the author, '^it is 
remarkable how much Grav's Inn used to be frequented by 
men of the same families. Of the family of Bacon^ there were 
Nicolas, Nathaniel, Edward, Anthony, and Francis. Of the 
family of Yelverton, fourteen. Of the family of Mosley, 
seven, and so in many other instances. 

'^ To some of the earliest admissions the signature of Lord 
Burleigh is attached, and closely following is that of Lord 
Bacon. A great number of the nobility belonged to Gray's 
Inn, and previous to the reign of James II., five Dukes, three 
Marquesses, twenty-nine Earls, and thirty-eight Lords were 
admitted as members of the Society. 

** There is no evidence when the Hall was first built ; but 
Dugdale, quoting from records of the Society which are not 
in existence, says, the * Old Hall ' was ' seiled ' in the year 
1551 with fifty- four yards of wainscot ; and four years after- 
wards the Society began the ^ re-edifying of it.' The work 
was completed in the second of Elizabeth, the charge amount- 
ing to £863 10s. 8d. 

'^ The windows of the hall contain the arms of distinguished 
members of the Society, and among the older escutcheons, 
still in a good state of preservation, are those of Sir William 
Gascoigne, Chief Justice in 1401. The escutcheon of Sir J. 
Markham, dated 1462 ; that of Lord Burleigh ; those of 
Nicolas and Francis Bacon ; and several others dated before 
the year 1600. 

'* The tradition of the Hou-se is, that the screen under the 
gallery in the hall, a most elaborate piece of carved work in 
oak, as well as some of the dining tables now used in the hall, 
were given to the Society by Queen Elizabeth, as tokens of 
her regard. It may also be mentioned that at dinner on the 
Grand Day in each term, * the glorious, pious, and immortal 
memory of Good Queen Bess ' is still solemnly given in the 

" That the rules of ' deportment ' were not altogether over- 
looked in deaUng with the members of the Inn in former 


times, will appear from the following orders : In the 16tli of 
Elizabeth it was ordered, that none of this Society should 
wear any gown or outward garment of any light colour 
upon penalty of expulsion. In the 27th year it was ordered, 
that whosoever being a fellow of this House, did thenceforth 
wear any hat in the Hall, at dinner or supper time, he 
should forfeit for every time of such his offending 38. 4d." 

To be in accordance with the spirit of emulation in modem 
scholastic institutions, the Society of Gray's Inn, in Michael- 
mas Term 1873, founded seven scholarships, four by the 
Society, two of the annual value of £46, and two of £40 ; and 
three by Joseph Arden, Esq., of Rickmansworth Park, Herts, 
each of the annual value of £60. 

In the Hall were performed those Masques and "Revels " 
which in ancient times were celebrated with so much mag- 
nificence by the four Inns of Court. There is a book in the 
Library, c^led the " Gesta Grayorum," which gives a detailed 
account of a Masque performed at Greenwich by the members 
of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn in the year 1594. 

William Hone, in his ''Year Book" refers to the same 
work as a " quarto tract of rare occurrence, printed in 1688.'* 
He says, it gives a detailed account of the '' Grand Revels of 
the Prince of Misrule at Gray's Inn, who kept his state, and 
received ambassadors, and made progresses, with becoming 
dignity, from his creation before Christmas 1594, to the end 
of his reign on Shrove Tuesday.'* The mock gravity of the 
whole proceedings, from the proclanlation by Gray's Inn in 
regal form of the choice of a *' Prince to be predominant in 
our State of Peerpoole,'' is duly set forth by the King at 
Arms, with a flourish of trumpets : the Prince's Champion 
in complete armour, on horseback, challenging '' any man of 
high degree, or low '' who will dare to dispute the sovereignty 
of the Prince of Peerepoole, to fight with him, &c., as the 
Prince's true Knight, and his Champion. No man, of course, 
appearing, the attorney stood up and made a speech of con* 
gratulation to the Prince, assuring him that he " was most 
happy in having rule over such dutiful and loving subjects, 
that would not think any thing, were it lands, goods, or life, 
too dear to be at his Highness s command and service. 

Then the names of such Homagers and Tributaries as hold 
any signiories^ lordships, lands, privileges, or liberties under 
his honour, and the tenures and services belonging to the 
same; are s^t forth ; such as of the manor of '^ High and 


Ketker Holbom," who were to render, '^ for every one of the 
Prince's pensioners one milk-white doe, ai\d two hundred 
millions sterling"; Lucy Negro, Abbess de Glerkenwell, 
holding the nunnery of Olerkenwell, &c., was to find a choir 
of nuns, with burning lamps, to chant Placebo to the gentle- 
men of the Prince's privy chamber, on the day of ms ex- 
cellency's coronation ; Ruffiano de St. Giles's, holding the 
town of St. Giles, was to furnish on the same occasion two 
ambling easie paced gennets, for the pages of honour; 
Cornelius Gombaldus de Tottenham, holdmg the grange of 
Tottenham, by yielding yearly four quarters of rye, and 
three score double duckets on the feast of St. Pancras; 
Jordano Surtano, de Kentish Town, holding the canton of 
Kentish Town, amongst other conditions *^ that when any 
of the Prince's officers or family do resort thither for change 
of air, or else variety of diet, as weary of court Ufa, and such 
provision, he do provide for a mess of the yeomen of the 
guard, or any of the black-guard, or such like mferior officers 
so coming, eight loins of mutton, which are soimd, well fed, 
and not infectious; and for every gentleman-pensioner, or 
other of good qusdity, coneys, pigeons, chickens, or such 
dainty morsel. But the said Jordano is not bound by his 
tenure to boil, roast or bake the same, or meddle further 
than the bare delivery of the said cates, and so to leave them 
to the handling, dressing, and breaking up of themselves ; 
and rendering for a fine to the Prince, one thousand five 
hundred marks'': other tenures were also read, and the 
names of the homagers called, defaulters being fined. Then 
a parliament was summoned, but by reason of the absence of 
some special officers it could not be holden. Yet was a 
subsidy raised of the commons towards the support of his 
highness's port and sports. 

Then his highness called for the master of the revels and 
willed him to pass the time in dancing ; so his gentlemen- 
pensioners and attendants, very gallantly appointed in thirty 
couples, danced the old measures, and their galliards, and 
other kind of dances, revelling till it was very late. On 
the occasion of the second days' sports, however, *' there arose 
a disordered tumult ;" some of the guests of the Templarians 
"thought they were not so kindly entertained as they ex- 
pected," and quitted "the presence discontented and dis- 
pleased. So that night begun and continued to the end in 
nothing but confusion and errors." 



This misclianGe was a great discouragement to the state of 
Grays, and gave occasion to the lawyers of the Prince's 
council, on the next night after the revels, to read a com- 
mission of Oyer and Terminer, directing certain noblemen 
and lords to make enquiry of the great disorders and abuses 
done and committed. 

The next night the charge was prepared, setting forth 
that a certain sorcerer or conjuror, then prisoner, had 
caused a stage to be built, which had attracted in crowds of 
base and common fellows, to the confusion of the state and 
against the crown and dignity of his sovereign highness, the 
Prince of Peerpoole. la the end, after a long trial the 
prisoner was freed and pardoned, and an immediate reform 
effected, and greater precaution taken, " so that none but of 
good quality might be admitted to the court." 

On the 3rd of January, there was an assembly of great and 
noble personages who came by invitation of the prince, such 
as the Lord Keeper, Earls Shrewsbury, &c., and a goodly 
number of knights, ladies, and worshipful personages. Then 
a masque and show was performed on an elaborate and grand 
scale, in which amity was produced between the Templarians 
and the Grayians by means of an allegorical show, so that 
those present might understand that the unkindness which 
was growing betwixt them by reason of the former night of 
errors, was clean rooted out and forgotten, and that they were 
more firm friends than ever. An order of chivalry and 
knighthood was then established in due form. This being 
done, the advice of the lords of the privy council was sought 
by the prince. The first advised war ; the second, the study 
of philosophy ; another advised the practice of virtue, and a 
gracious, goverament, and the sixth counsellor advised to 
immediate pastime and sports. Amidst such a variety of 
weighty counsel, being undetermined, the prince meanwhile 
made choice of the last advice, and deliberate afterwards 
upon the rest ; made a speech to that effect, and " arose from 
his speech to revel, and took a lady to dance withal," 
which example were immediately followed by all the 

Upon the following day, the Prince, attended by his 
courtiers; &c., made, a progress from his court of Qraya to 
the lord mayor^s house, called Crosby Place, in Bishbpsgate, 
whither he had been invited to a sumptuous and costly 
dinner. The procession through the streets to and fro 


occasioned them to be filled with people, " who thought there 
had been some great prince in very deed passing through the 

The next grand night was upon Twelfth Day, at night. 
When the revel was finished, the Prince departed on a journey 
to Hussia, and the court broke up. Upon his return on the 1st 
of February, he waited by permission upon the Queen, who 
promised that " he and his followers should have entertain- 
ment according to his dignity." At shrovetide accordingly 
the prince went with his nobles to the court of her Majesty 
(Queen Elizabeth) to her palace at Greenwich, and rep- 
resented certain sports, consisting of a masque. They danced 
*^ galliards, courants, and other dances. It was the Queen's 
pleasure to be gracious to every one, and she particularly 
thanked his highness the Prince of Peerpoole for the good 
performance, with undoubted wishes that the sports had con- 
tinued longer; insomuch that, when the courtiers danced 
a measure, immediately after the masque ended, the Queen 
said, * What ! shall we have bread and cheese after a ban- 
quet P ' " The next day before departing her Majesty gave to 
the Prince gracious commendations in general and of Gray's 
Inn in particular, '^ as a House she was much beholden 
unto, for that it did always study for some sports to present 
unto her.'' 

"And thus, on Shrove Tuesday, the sports and revels of 
Gray's Inn, and the reign of the mock prince, were ended at 
the court of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth." 

Her Majesty, it is said, frequently visited the Inn and has 
been present at balls held here. 

In NichoU's Progresses of the time of James I., we read : 
" jSome notion may be formed of the great revelries in all 
ranks of society on Twelfth Night from this fact, that in 
1622 the gentlemen of Gray's Inn, to make an end of 
Christmas, shot off all the chambers which they had borrowed 
from the Tower, being as many as filled four carts. The 
king (James I.) awakened with the noise, started out of bed, 
and cried '* Treason ! Treason ! " The court was raised and 
almost in arms ; the Earl of Arundel, with his sword drawn, 
ran to the bed-chamber to rescue the king's person, and the 
city was in an uproar." 

It is believed on very good grounds that Gray's Inn Gar- 
dens were originally laid out in the year 1597, under the 
direction of Lord Bacon, the then Treasurer of the Society; 

_ h2 


and there is still preserved on the north-west side of the 
garden a ^' Catalpa tree/' which, tradition says, was planted 
by him. 

There is an Order of Pension extant in the following 
terms : — '* Ordered, that the sum of £7 15s. 4d. due to Mr. 
Bacon for planting of elm trees in the walkes be paid next 

Harrison, writing in 1777, says, that 'Hhe chief ornament 
o{ this inn is the spacious garden behind it, which consists of 
gravel walks between lofty trees, grass plots, agreeable 
slopes, and a long terrace, with a portico at each end. This 
terrace has been lately enlarged, and the portico rebuilt ; 
but the beautiful prospect which these gardens formerly en- 
joyed of Hampstead and Highgate is now entirely lost by a 
street [John-street] being formed, and a row of large houses 
[King's Road] built directly in their front. However, they 
are exceedingly pleasant, and all decent company are per- 
mitted to walk in them every day." 

The privilege, however, is now exclusively confined to 
the few persons who obtain the favour from benchers, while 
all other " decent company " can view this *' spacious garden " 
only from the outside railings. The members of the inn, 
apparently either do not value the privilege, or their pur- 
suits engross all their time to their chambers. A rifle corps 
is favoured to meet for drill at certain times. 

Several years ago when there was a large rookery here, 
some of the benchers, not appreciating the cawing of the 
birds, shot many of them, which so offended the remainder, 
that they ceased for some years to take up their abode here. 
The present generation of rooks seem to have lost this tradi- 
tion of their ancestors, and had again tenanted these gardens, 
in the spring of 1873, securing undisturbed possession of 
several branches of the trees, with liberty to regale them- 
selves on the *' grass plots and agreeable slopes." There 
were three nests in the topmost branches of the venerable 
*^ Catalpa tree/' with seats around it, which is Imown as Lord 
Bacon's tree. 

In this Inn that great thinker and author kept his terms 
when he left Cambridge University in the year 1576, and 
had apartments here when he was summoned to meet the 
charges made against his integrity and uprightness as Lord 

*' Wisest, greatest, meanest of mankind,'^ seems to be, in 


spite of the apologies for his conduct, but too truly applicable 
to this great genius. His works still live, but the sad fact 
remains too^ that his decisions were influenced by bribes. 
Yerulam Buildings, on the east side of the Inn, and this re- 
markable tree, attest the desire of the benchers to perpetuate 
the name of the great Lord Bacon. Two of the lower 
branches of this tree are supported lest they should reach the 
ground, symbolical of the desire of posterity to deal tenderly 
with the earthward tendencies of the great mind, which, 
nevertheless, like the topmost branches soared towards 
Heaven. The seats around its trmik seem as if they were 
there in vain ; and the broad gravel walk looks as though 
the foot of man seldom pressed it. The multitude who pass 
' the iron entrance, and gateway, which is never opened, on 
the south side, are apparently too absorbed with the business 
of to-day to notice the initials of the Treasurer W, G., and 
the date 1723 (when last renewed) in the scroll work on the 
top of the gates. Many of the inhabitants of the immediate 
neighbourhood are unconscious of the proximity of a gar- 
den which little more than a century ago " formed, with 
the exception of the parks, one of the finest walks or prome- 
nades in London." The re-opening of it, under proper 
regulations, to the public would be a great boon to many 
who are precluded from visiting other but more distant ver- 
dant retreats in the summer time. It is indeed a green spot 
in the midst of a wilderness of houses. 

Parton, in his History, states that " the ground between 
Gray's Inn and Bloomsbury appears to have been totally un- 
built on in the reign of Elizabeth ; and to have remained so 
for some years afterwards, except on the Holbom side, which 
was completely made into a street about the year 1600.'' 

The lawless condition of society, and the singular means 
for the repression of felony and highway robbery in the out- 
skirts of London formerly may be seen from the following 
advertisement in the London Gazette of January 4, 1691 ; 
*^ Now in the custody of the keeper of their Majestys' gaol at 
St. Albans, with others, Charles Eaton, a little thin, short 
man, pale fac^, and grey eyes, professeth to be a dancing 
master, and keeps the Three Tuns, at Battle Bridge, the 
lower end of Gray's Inn Lane, is suspected to have committed 
several felonies and robberies (on the highway). Such as 
have been robbed may have a view of him at the gaol afore- 


Gfray's Inn Turnpike-road was then the highway from 
Oldbonrne or Holbom. The Fleet River, then a formidable 
stream, diyersified the rural prospect by having mills on its 
banks ; now it is buried imderground. At the end of the 
road was the '^ old and anciente highway to High Bamet^ 
through a lane to the east of Pancras Church, called Long- 
wiche-lane/' says Norden. That lane was afterwards called 
Maden or Maiden-lane, and now York Road. A footway 
across a field was one way from it to the north side of Pan- 
cras Church and the Spa, as shown in a print of the date 1730. 

The cutting of the *' New Road " in 1766 may be said to 
have led to the many changes in this neighbourhood. Of 
some of the buildings which afterwards were erected an ac- 
count will now be given. 

In the Gray's Inn Road, a short distance from King's 
Cross, is a building (now occupied as stores by the agent of 
a large brewing firm) which was originally erected for a 
Horse Repository. In 1829, a portion of it was used as 
*'The Exchange and Co-operative Bazaar," instituted by 
Robert Owen, who at that time was addressing the Parlia- 
ment and the public generally on the merits of his social 
system, and of its ability to meet the then prevalent distress 
in the United Eongdom. In 1834, the building was known 
as the " Royal London Bazaar,'' in the Assembly Room of 
which was Madame Tussaud*s Exhibition and Promenade. 
According to an advertisement in a newspaper published in 
April of that year, there you could ''purchase any of the 
thousand-and-one varieties of fancy and useful articles ; or 
you could lounge an agreeable hour either in the Prome- 
nades, or in Inhibitions that are wholly without parallel 
in the known world ! ^' (The removal of Madame Tussaud's 
brilliant Exhibition to Baker-street, and the additions and 
improvements of forty years, have increased the claim to this 
high estimate.) In the advertisement it is added — "Carriages 
may either wait in the arena for orders, or at the Royal en- 
trance, Liverpool-street, or at the Gray's Inn Road entrance." 
Two years before that time, the Assembly Room had been 
crowded by the followers of the Rev. Edward Irving, when 
he was expelled by the Presbytery from his church in 
Regent's Square. For some years this building was con- 
verted into and used as a Pantechnicon ; and previously to 
its being devoted to its present purpose, the Assembly Room 
was known as St. George's Hall. 


The " Pindar of Wakefield ^' tavern close by derived its 
name from the hamlet or inship so called. Two acres of this 
free land were charged with an annuity originally, bequeathed 
on 10th October 1634 by ** Thomas Cleeve, citizen and haber- 
dasher of Loudon/' amounting to £2 16s. a year, ** to be 
laid out for thirteen penny loaves of bread, and to be be- 
stowed on thirteen poor people of the parish ("except the poor 
people of Highgate only) every Sunday, and to such only 
that come in due time to church or to chapel to morning 
prayer, imless hindered by sickness or otherwise, as the vicar 
and churchwardens shall allow to be reasonable." In the 
year 1724 the Pindar of Wakefield was destroyed by a 
hurricane, the landlord's two daughters being buried in the 
ruins. The owner of the land was a Mr. John Proctor, 
doctor of physic, and he refused to pay the aforesaid annuity, 
but the vestry filed a bill in chancery, and he was ordered by 
the court to pay. The vestry at their next meeting, on 26th 
December 1724, appointed trustees to manage this bequest, 
one of whom was a Mr. John Goodge, of Tottenham Court, 
whose name is perpetuated by Goodge- street. Some years 
after, a public-house was erected on a part of this *'free 
land," and became charged with the annuity. It was a small 
and only occasionally frequented house. Charles Dickens, in 
" Barnaby Rudge, a tale of the Biots of * Eighty,' " describes 
it as '^ The Boot inn,^' and at that date as '^ a lone house 
of public entertainment, situated in the fields at the back of 
the Foundling Hospital ; a very solitary spot at that period, 
and quite deserted after dark. The tavern stood at some dis- 
tance from any high road, and was approachable only by a 
dark and narrow lane.'' In the novel, that house is intro- 
duced as the meeting-place of some of the leading spirits of 
the ** No Popery " riots. A former landlord is said to have 
been frequently in the habit of interesting his customers by 
relating some of the incidents of that terrible episode of 
bigotry and ignorant intolerance. 

The ^' narrow lane '' of 1780 from the Gray's Inn Road 
afterwards became Cromer-street, with several adjoining 
narrow and squalid courts. The nearest ^' high road '^ was 
the New Road, which had then been in existence twenty- 
three years. 

A building still exists in the Graves Inn Road which has 
altogether lost its original application, it aforetime being a 

104 ST. PANCBAS— f AfiT AND PBBSElfr. 

Bcliool, but it lutying now become devoted to the manufactore 
of materials for the art of war. Many hundreds of girls are 
there engaged in the making of cartridges and percussion 
caps where once the object was the '' mddng poor children 
good Christians/^ of ''instilling the great lesson prescribed 
by our Saviour, of true humuity/' and fitting them for 
'^trades, domestic service, or any other employment or 
business of use and benefit to the public and themselves." 

Such was the object of the Welsh School. The charity 
was founded in the year 1715, shortly after the accession of 
George the First. " It so happened that the birthday of 
Caroline, Princess of Wales, was the same as that of the 
tutelar Saint of the Principality ; and to this incident, as 
well as to a desire on the part of many influential Welsh- 
men to manifest their attachment to the House of Hanover, 
during the troubles which threatened the security of that 
dynasty, may be attributed the origin of the Society, which 
now provides a suitable education for poor children bom in 
the metropolis of Welsh parents,'', is the statement pub- 
lished in the Beport of the Society. 

Consequently an advertisement appeared in the London 
Gazette for February 9th, ** 1714-15,'' announcing that the 
service of the church would be performed in Welsh on 
Tuesday, March 1st following, at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, 
and desiring all who were '' wilUng to join in establishing a 
Society in honour of the Princess's birthday, and of the 
Principality of Wales, to dine with Viscount Lisbume, the 
Sishop of Sanger, and the rest of the Nobility, Gentry, and 
Clergy of Wales, in order to choose a President and Stewards, 
.&c., to continue the same on every St. David's Day for the 
future." The dinner for that year and the following one 
took place at* Haberdashers' Hall, in Maiden Lane (now 
Gresham-street West). The first "charity money" was 
spent ** for the benefit of the Welsh nation in general," and 
the Society was ever after known as " The Most Honourable 
and Loyal Society of Ancient Britons." In 1718, '* a few 
benevolent Welsh gentlemen" (as the "best preventive 
against vice " ) commenced a subscription for the purpose of 
" setting up and supporting a school in or near London, for 
instructing, clothing, and putting forth apprentices poor 
children, descended of Welsh parents, bom in or near Lon- 
don, within ten miles of the Eoyal Exchange : and in the 
first place fixed on a sober, discreet, and capable master," 


who woxdd inculcate ^' obedience, and subjection to superiors.^^ 
A room was taken at first in Hatton Garden, for twelve 
children, and was only a day school ; then the number of 
children increased to forty, and larger premises were taken. 

In 1737, subscriptions were commenced towards erecting 
school premises. A piece of ground on Glerkenwell-green 
was taken on lease, and a school was erected hereon. *' The 
old house is there yet (Nos. 37 and 38) on the north side of 
the Green, between the comer of Glerkenwell Close and the 
comer of Bay-street, divided into several small tenements." 
I^ot till fifty years after the commencement of the School 
were any children fed or lodged by the charity, when (in 1768) 
six girls were admitted for that purpose. 

In 1771^ it was found that the premises on Clerkenwell- 
green were too small ; a piece of ground " well situated on 
the north-east side of Gray^s Inn Road " was therefore pur- 
chased, and a school-house erected, in 1772, which was 
enlarged in 1816, in 1837, and again in 1841 (when the 
number on the establishment was increased to 2.00 — 70 
girls, and 130 boys), at a total cost for building and re- 
pairs, of £8,140. Amongst the donors to its funds who have 
owed their education to the charity, was Mr. Edward 
Williams, who contributed by will a sum of £1,951, which 
was employed in aid of the fund for erecting the school 
buildings in the Gray's Inn Eoad. 

In 1779 the school is described in an advertisement for its 
benefit at Drury Lane Theatre, as being " over against the 
Foundling Hospital,^' which is a proof of that being then the 
nearest building. But in 1854 it was considered necessary 
to remove the school because the facilities for proper exercise 
and promoting '' muscular development " were insufficient ; 
the Caledonian Fields (the last available spot within con- 
venient reach, for cricket) were built over, and there existed 
^' both difficulty and danger in reaching the parks with a 
large number of children." The Report added, that " since 
the opening of the Northern Railway, the traffic in the 
vicinity of the school-house is said to have greatly increased, 
thereby adding to the difficulty and danger of the children 
going beyond the premises, except for an occasional walk 
along the streets in rank.'^ 

The old school in the Gray's Inn Road was accordingly 
disposed of to Messrs Eley, the present owners, for £14,000, 
and possession given them on the 29th September 1857. 


Prince Albert was present at tlie opening of the new 
school at Ashford, in Middlesex, on the 13th of July 1857. 
It is distant about sixteen miles from London, and lies mid- 
way between Bichmond and Windsor. The site consists of 
thirteen acres of enfranchised copyhold land, and with the 
erection of the building and every other expense cost up- 
wards of £20,000, 

A statue of the Prince of Wales (who is patron of the school) 
was placed in the building on the day of opening, and, as a 
part of the ceremony, the children sang an ode, in which they 
rejoiced that — 

*' From the smoke of the streets, from their pall of grey vapours, 
To field and to rirer our footsteps are brought, 
Where young hearts may bound, as the forest roe capers, 
And God's lessons of nature to childhood be taught." — 

But the inhabitants of the " streets, with their pall of 
grey vapours '* have been deprived of one of the sights of 
London, which existed for more than three quarters of a 
century, that of the procession of the children in their 
antique dresses to the Freemasons' Tavern on the 1st of 

From the year 1858, the service has been held at the 
parish church of Ashford, and the annual dinner at Willis's 
Rooms. In 1867, the Prince of Wales was President, when 
fifty stewards officiated at the Dinner. 

The removal into the country may have been on the 
whole advantageous ; but it would seem that there has been a 
falling off in the support of the charity. In 1864, in the 
Gray's Inn Road school there werQ " 200 children fed, 
clothed, lodged, and educated " while in 1870, there were 
but 161 children in the school at Ashford. Whether thief 
apparent decline is due to the necessities of the case being 
lessened, or from diminished national feeling of the "Ancient 
Britons,^' does not, however, appear. 

At the anniversary dinner at Willis's Rooms, on 1st March 
1873, it was stated that the income of the charity was £3,869, 
and after defraying the expenses there remained a balance of 
£211. The chairman, Mr. E. R. Wingfield said that the 
funds were not so satisfactory as they had a right to expect, 
£860 was the amount of the subscriptions announced at the 
dinner. The number of children in the establishment is still 
below that which was in the School in the Gray's Inn Road, 
being only 166 . As customary they were present after the 


dinner, and sang an Ode written by Sir Francis Doyle, and 
the air composed by Mr. Brinley Kichards, who, with other 
national supporters of the charity, contributed to the success 
of the anniversary. 

Very near to the old Welsh School is St. Bartholomews 
Church. This very unpretentious looking building is 
associated with the name and career of William Huntingdon, 
by which name he was known, but it is stated that his real 
name was Hunt. He was bom in the year 1744. His re- 
puted father was a labourer at Cranbrook, in Kent, his real 
parent being a farmer in the district. The little education 
he received in his childhood was obtained at a free school in 
his native village. His occupations were various, alternating 
between that of a labourer, cobbler, gardener, or coal-heaver. 
According to his own confession he led for a short time in 
his youth a sinful course^ but, like many others he was im- 
pressed by the earnestness of the itinerant preachers who had 
received their mission from either Whitefield or Wesley. At 
that time the most stolid, apparently, of all classes were aroused. 
While living at Ewell Marsh, in Surrey, in service as a gar- 
dener, William Huntingdon commenced preaching in his own 
little cottage. He says, " At this place, I continued preaching 
until the little thatched house became full of hearers.^^ 

Removing to Thames Ditton, where he worked as a coal- 
heaver, at ten shillings a week, he rented a small cottage, and 
at that time possessed as much furniture only as a porter 
could carry away in one load. He continued his preaching, 
till his fame had reached London, when he was invited to 
preach at Margaret-street Chapel. He was somewhat timid 
at first, but he soon found that eccentricity conjoined with 
talent and earnestness, attracted numbers to he^-r him. He 
became exceedingly popular, requiring the aid of a horse to 
carry him to and from his cottage at Thames Ditton. One 
of his hearers gave him the horse, which gift led him to 
remark, " I believe this horse was the gift of God.^* Having 
given up his labour as a coalheaver, he depended entirely 
upon the Providence of God. He writes : " When Providence 
had been exercising my faith and patience till the cupboard 
was empty, in answer to a simple prayer. He sent me one of 
the largest hams I ever saw." When he left Thames Ditton, 
in consequence of a dream, having determined to settle in 
London ; he says, ** On removing, my effects had so increased 


that I loaded two large carts with fomitnre^ besides a post- 
chaise well filled with children and cats ''! 

He built a chapel in Tichfield-street^ and called it Pro- 
vidence Chapel. In like manner he depended upon the good 
Providence of God for the payment of its erection. One of his 
friends with whom he had but little acquaintance sent a load of 
timber he had ordered with the bill and receipt in full.; another 
gave chairs for the vestry, others sent money, and so hemet his 
liabilities. The chapel, however, was not large enough, and 
the exorbitant demand for ground-rent deterred him from 
extending the building ; so, he says, " Finding nothing could 
be done with the earth-holders, I turned my eyes another way, 
and determined to build storeys in the heavens where I should 
find more room and less rent.'' The cost of building another 
storey or galleries was paid for chiefly out of the sale of his 
works, such as the " Bank of Faith/' &c., which sold ex- 
tensively, on account of their quaint and original s^le. 

Mr. Himtingdon is described in *' The Picture of iondon," 
for 1806, as " celebrated for using the plainest language upon 
all occasions. The chapel in LittleTichfield-street, although 
it has two or three tiers of galleries, one above another, is 
always crowded. Strangers are not admitted up-stairs, or 
into a pew, unless they happen to be from the country, in 
which case they meet with civility." 

But that chapel was burnt down, and Huntingdon and his 
followers chose the site in the Gray's Inn Bead for their new 
Providence Chapel, which was opened in the year 1811. The 
freehold was assigned to him as his personal property, he 
having threatened refusal to officiate unless his request to 
that effect was granted. By this departure from his professed 
principles he gave occasion to much satire. The exclusive 
and narrow-minded doctrines he taught were sufficiently 
offensive, while the eccentricities of the preacher provoked 
the ridicule of the worldly-minded. Lady Sanderson, the 
widow of Sir James Sanderson, went to the Chapel in Tich- 
field street with the avowed object of turning the eccentricities 
of the preacher into a subject for ridicule, but she was over- 
awed by his earnestness and powerful oratory, and eventually 
became the second wife of Huntingdon, whose last years were 
thus rendered free from all anxiety respecting worldly weal th 
by this alliance. His tenure of the Chapel in the Gray's Inn 
Boad, however, was but of short duration for he died on July 
1, 1813^ in the 70th year of his age. He was buried in 


Jireh Chapel, at Lewes, in Sussex, where a stone records, in 
words dictated by himself a few days before his death: 
"Here lies The Coal HEAVBRy — beloved of his God but 
abhorred of men. The omniscient Judge at the Grand 
Assize shall ratify and confirm this to the confusion of many 
thousands, for England and its Metropolis shall know that 
there has been a Prophet among them. W.H., S.S." 

The whole of his effects were sold soon after his death, and 
realised the sum of £1,800. A pair of spectacles sold for 
seven guineas, and a silver snuff box for five guineas ; such 
was the infatuated devotion and attachment of his followers. 

Huntingdon's popularity continued till the close of his life, 
his chapel being always crowded. After his decease the 
pulpit was supplied by a Mr. Thomas Burgess of Deptford : 
Mr. Seaman, of Cranbrook ; Mr. Chamberlain, of Leicester, 
and Mr. Lock, who was at one time minister in Chapel- 
street, Somers Town. The Chapel became subsequently, by 
purchase, the property of a Mr. Davenport, and was given 
by him to the Kev. Thomas Mortimer, who was about leaving 
St. Mark^s, Middleton-square ; but the trustees under a 
statute of lunacy obtained against Mr. Davenport granted a 
sub-lease to Mr. Mortimer, at an annual rental of £320. On 
the chapel becoming an Episcopalian Church, the Vicar, Mr. 
Dale preached in the morning of the Sunday in which it was 
re-opened, and Mr. Mortimer in the evening, on which 
occasion^ he very dogmatically condemned non-episcopal 
preaching and dissent, and indecorously referred to his '' Coal- 
heaver^' predecessor. This attack provoked a very just 
and well-merited rebuke from one of the late Mr. Huntmg^ 
don's deacons. Mr. Mortimer continued his powerful, though, 
as some thought, somewhat bigoted and intolerant ministry, 
till the year 1849, when on his resignation, the Eev. E. 
Garbett became the minister. This chapel was eventually 
fully purchased, and consecrated and endowed as a. district 
church in the year 1859, under the name of the Church of 
St. Bartholomew. 




Between Gray's Inn Broad and the Foundling Hospital is 
Regent Square ; the date of its formation is indicated by its 
name to have been between the years 1810 and 1820, a 
most eventful period in the history of Eiirope. Contiguous 
to this square is Brunswick Square, as also the closed ceme- 
teries of St. George-the-Martyr and St. George. Bloomsbury, 
all being of earlier date. 

Regent Square is worthy of notice chiefly on account of 
the two churches in it, both of which have had for tbeir 
ministers men whose names have been celebrated far beyond 
the borders of their own respective churches. 

On the opening of Regent Square Chapel in 1824, tbe 
Rev. William Harness was appointed minister. He im- 
mediately devoted himself most thoroughly to the duties 
of his responsible position, seeking to persuade men by 
setting forth the beauty of holiness rather than by dwelling 
upon the threatenings of the law, believing fear to be but an 
animal quality, while love is attractive and elevating, and 
all powerful to reclaim. Besides his native eloquence, he 
exhibited the powerful aid of a consistent life and character. 
He preferred the "old way ^^ of conducting the services of 
the Church, and he relied upon the parochial system as a 
means of reaching the people, and attracting them to the 
worship of God in His House. His pamphlet on District 
Visiting, and his letters to the " Times " gave evidence of 
his practical knowledge of the subject. While minister of 
Regent Square Church, he was appointed by Lord Lans- 
downe Clerical Registrar, and, after twenty years, at the 
suggestion of Dean Milman, he undertook to build the 
church of All Saints, Knightsbridge, being himself the chief 


Mr. Harness was widely known amongst tlie Kterary men 
of his day, being himself a contributor in the field of lite- 
rature, as a ShsJksperian critic and on general subjects in the 
Quarterly Review, Fraser's and Blackwood's Magazines. 
He wrote the introduction to " The Life of Mary Bussell 
Mitford," which was publishedjshortly before his death. Miss 
Mitford thus wrote of the Rev.* Villiam Harness : " He is one 
of the finest preachers in London, but still better known as the 
friend of all who have been eminent for the last forty years ; 
for from the moment he left college he took rank as one of 
the best conversationalists of the day. Schoolfellow and 
correspondent of Byron, he refused the dedication of Childe 
Harold; was the bosom friend and literary executor of 
Thomas Hope, and has lived in the closest intimacy with 
every person who combined high talent with fair character. 
His father gave away my mother ; we were friends in child- 
hood, and have loved each other like brother and sister all 
our Uves." 

Mr. Forster, in the second volume of his Life of Charles 
Dickens, refers as amongst the numerous visitors at Devon- 
shire Terrace, in 1848-51, to "Harness and his sister," and 
on one occasion, to his criticisms on Mrs. Siddons' and John 
Kemble's acting. " It was in another sense like your 
writing,'' said Harness to Dickens, " the commonest natural 
feelings made great, even when not rendered more refined by 
art. When she first entered as Volumnia," Harness said, 
"swaying and surging from side to side with every movement 
of the Roman crowd itself, as it went out and returned in 
confusion, she so absorbed her son into herself as she looked 
at him, so swelled and amplified in her pride and glory for him, 
that the people in the pit blubbered all round, and he could 
no more help it than the rest." And in 1844, when Dickens 
read his " Chimes " to a most remarkable circle of friends 
assembled at Forster's house in Lincoln^s-Inn-Fields, who 
are all now dead excepting Mr. Carlyle and Mr. Forster, the 
latter describes ^^ the grave attention of Carlyle, the eager in- 
terest of Stanfield and Maclise, the keen look of poor Laman 
Blanchard, Fox's rapt solemnity, Jerrold's skyward gaze, 
and the tears of Harness and Dyce ; " the scene as sketched 
by Maclise is engraved, and the tenderness of Mr. Harness's 
nature is manifested. 

One of the last public acts of his life was that of indig- 
nantly repudiating the charge brought against Byron in the 


injudicious book of Mrs. Beecher Stowe. Mr. Harness con- 
sidered that Lady Byron entirely misunderstood Byron's 
erratic but not unamiable character. Thus Mr. Harness, 
while tender as a woman^ was also manly in defence of what 
he believed to be the truth. 

Duringf the last three years of his life, Mr. Harness 
suffered from a visible diminution of strength, and his death 
was occasioned by a fall While descending the stone stair- 
case of the Deanery of Battle where he was on a visit, from 
the effect of which accident he expired almost instan- 
taneously, in November 1869. He was then in his 80th year. 
Mr. Harness was never married, and lived to the close of his 
life with his sister, to whom he was devotedly attached. 

The church in BrOgent Square has had for its able minister 
Dr. Nolan for several years. He is an earnest, zealous, 
parochial clergjrman and is also an eloquent preacher. 

Fifty years ago, the extraordinary popularity of the Rev. 
Edward Irving was the subject of remark in almost every 
class of Society. The Caledonian Church in Cross Street, 
Hatton Garden was besieged by multitudes of persons of whom 
but a limited number could gain admittance. The titled and 
the wealthy were thus attracted, and amongst them was Mr. 
Henry Drummond the banker, who continued imder all cir- 
cumstances the friend and follower of Mr. Irving. 

The National Scotch Church in Begent Square owes its 
origin t6 Mr. Irving's popularity, for the Presbytery were 
induced to erect a more, commodious building so as to admit 
of the acconmiodation of the overwhelming number of per- 
sons who Sunday after Sunday were necessarily excluded 
from the church in Hatton Garden. It was indeed^ as Mr. 
Irving on a subsequent and memorable occasion said, '^a 
church built very much on the credit of my own name." 

The foimdation stone was laid on Ist July 1824^ with 
great ceremony, and under most distinguished patronage, 
the Duke of Cambridge having engaged to be present for 
that purpose. The Earl of Breadalbane, however, officiated 
in consequence of the indisposition of his Boyal Highness. 
Mr. Irving delivered a suitable address to the 1,700 persons 
present, after a document containing his name as pastor, and 
the names of the elders, and a list of the subscribers had 
been consigned to the proper receptacle, the stone lowered, 
and the Eurl had performed his part. A sumptuous dinner 


was given afterwards at the Freemasons' Tavern. The 
building cost over £25,000, and was completed and opened 
for Divine worship in 1827. Upwards of 3,000 persons were 
present on the occasion although it was on a Friday morning. 
Mr. Irving read the 100th Psalm, which was sung most 
impressively. Then he offered the introductory prayer, and 
Dr. Chalmers delivered an eloquent discourse. 

A short account of Mr. Irving's early life and preparation 
for what promised to be a long and useful career may be 

Edward Irving was born at Annan, a small town on the 
southernmost point of Scotland, on the 15th August 1792. 
His father was a tanner in somewhat prosperous circumstances. 
The son had in his early years found in a neighbouring farm- 
house a copy of the " Ecclesiastical Polity " — a book that 
seems to have affected his subsequent character and career. 
In due course he was sent to the University of Edinburgh, 
and made such progress in the study of Mathematics that 
Professor Leslie's attention was attracted towards him, and 
previous to attaining his 17th year, he recommended the 
young student to the appointment of Mathematical Teacher 
in an Academy at Haddington. It was about this time 
Thomas Carlyle and he met. Writing in Eraser's Magazine, 
January 1835, Carlyle says, *' The first time I saw Irving 
was six-and-twenty years ago, in his native town, Annan. 
He was fresh from Edinburgh, with college prizes [he had 
taken the degree of A.M.], high character and promise ; he 
had come to see our schoolmaster, who had also been his. 
We heard of famed professors, of high matters, classical, 
mathematical — a whole wonderland of knowledge. Nothing 
but joy, health, hopefulness without end, looked out from 
the blooming yoimg man." At eighteen years of age he was 
promoted to the rectorship of an academy at Kirkaldy, where 
he remained seven years, during which term he completed 
the probation required by the Church of Scotland for the 
ministry. Receiving no call to preach the gospel from his 
own countrymen, he resolved to become a missionary to the 
heathen. It was at this juncture that he received, one 
Saturday, an invitation with which he complied, to preach 
next day for Dr. Andrew Thompson, of Edinburgh. Dr. 
Chalmers was amongst the congregation, and being desirous of 
engaging an assistant minister, he ultimately requested his 
immediate presence in Glasgow, which led to his being ap- 



pointed to St. John's. After tliree years' labour there, he was 
invited to London. On the day before the Christmas of 1821, 
ho came up to this city, so he wrote, " to make trial and proof of 
my gifts before the remnant of the congregation '' of the almost 
deserted Caledonian Church in Cross Street, Hatton Garden ; 
and on the second Sunday of July 1822 he entered on his new 
ministry. Within a few months of his settlement, his 
preaching had created an uprecedented sensation. In the 
first quarter, **the seatholders had increased from fifty to 
fifteen hundred. A little later, and the rank and intellect of 
the land were crowding there, Sunday after Sunday. The 
Duke of York was amongst the number, and carried with him 
other members of the royal family. Brougham took Mackin- 
tosh, and Alackintosh, by repeating at a dinner table a 
beautiful sentence he had heard from Irving in prayer, drew 
C inning. The parliamentary leaders of both sides, and even 
the Tory premier, Lord Liverpool (much to Lord Eldon's 
horror) — the judges, and barristers of every degree — fashion- 
able physicians and medical students — duchesses, noted 
beauties, city madams — clerics and dissenters — with men 
and women who rather followed the fashion than made par- 
ticular pretensions to either intellect or religion — besieged 
the doors, and were jammed together in the aisles.'* 

The biography of Edward Irving by Washington Wilks, 
from which the above passage is extracted, also describes the 
preacher, and quotes the various opinions expressed by the 
writers in the newspaper press of the day. Irving flattered 
no class of the people. He believed that the Christian Minis- 
ter's duty was to reprove the sins and the vices of all classes. 
Such faithfulness necessarily called forth envy and de- 
traction from the public press/ and much ribaldry was then 

But Mr. Irving maintained hia extraordinary popularity 
while at the Church in Hatton Garden. Amongst his wealthy 
adherents, as before stated, was Mr. Henry Drummond the 
banker, who is described in the Memoir of the Brothers Hal- 
dane, as a gentleman whose " pleasing manners and aristo- 
cratic bearing, finely chiselled features and intellectual 
forehead, bespoke his breeding and intelligence; whilst in 
his acute and penetrating glance, wit, sarcasm, and the 
love of drollery, seemed to contend with earnestness, bene- 
volence, and an ever-restless craving after novelty." Under 
the pressure of deep religious convictions, or at the impulse 


of fervent religious zeal, he broke up his hunting establish- 
ment, sold the estate, and became the munificent, laborious 
propagandist of Evfi.ngelical Christianity among the mis- 
believing Christians of the Continent, and the unbelieving 
Jews of Europe and Asia. His friendship for Mr. Irving 
began shortly after the settlement of the latter in London. 
In the dedication of a volume of Occasional Discourses to 
Mr. Drummond, Irving addresses him as having " taken us 
poor despised interpreters of prophecy under your wing, and 
made the halls of your house like unto the ancient schools of 
the prophets." 

This had reference to conferences held at Mr. Drummond^s 
seat, Albury Park, Hants, at which about thirty clergymen, 
dissenting ministers and distinguished laymen discussed, 
amongst other subjects, that of Prophecy, which led Dr. 
Chalmers to express his fear ^* lest his prophecies, and the 
excessive length and weariness of his services, may unship 
him altogether ; and I mean to write him seriously upon the 
subject.^^ This was in 1827, and from that time, the fear of, 
Dr. Chalmers proved not groundless. As Mr. Wilkes says, 
" In the place of manly reasonings and conscience-touching 
appeals, he now offered to the people who continued to hang 
upon his lips, interminable expositions of the Apocalypse." 
In May 1828, he went to Edinburgh to deliver a course of 
lectures on the Book of Revelation. '^He is drawing," 
writes Dr. Chalmers, " prodigious crowds." He again ex- 
presses his fears as to the result, though acknowledging that 
" there is power and richness, and gleams of exquisite beauty, 
but withal a mysticism and extreme allegorization, which I 
am sure must be pernicious to the general cause. This is 
the impression of every clergyman I have met." 

It is not the purpose of the compiler of this brief sketch to 
do more than indicate the leading points in the character of 
Mr. Irving, and the extraordinary religious phenomena 
which he ultimately accepted. His mind was one of no 
ordinary character, and the mysticism to which Dr. Chalmers 
referred which was due to Coleridge, " England's poet-sage, 
the most imaginative and accomplished philosopher that had 
yet appeared ; " in conjunction with his studies of the Book 
of the Revelation of St. John the Divine, took him into the 
regions of poetry, and away from the practical common-place 
life of a London pastor. His sermon for the London Mission- 
ary Society was preached at Tottenham Court Chapel on May 

I 2 


14tli 1824, to a crowded congregation — ^liiindreds seeking ad- 
mission in vain — wliicli induced him to publish it, after 
twelve months had elapsed. " Such wds the length of the 
discourse, that twice he paused while the congregation sang 
portions of a hymn. Yet the oration rivetted attention to 
the end/' When published it was dedicated to Samuel 
Taylor Coleridge, whom he declared to have been more 
profitable to his faith in orthodox doctrine, to his spiritual 
understanding of the word of God, and to his right con- 
ception of the Christian Church, than any or all the men 
.with whom he had entertained friendship and conversation. 
He claims him as his ^' wise and generous teacher,^' who had 
" helped him in the way of truth," and his published sermon 
he offered to him as the first-fruits of his mind since it 
received a new impulse towards truth, and a " new insight 
into its depths ; " as the " offering of a heart which loves 
your heart, and of a mind which looks up with reverence to 
your^ind.*' The sermon was a pleading for the sending 
forth of missionaries after the Apostolic order : he said that 
he felt that he was pleading " the cause of Divine power and 
truth, which is hindered &om descending to tabernacle 
with mortals only by our low-thoughted cares and worldly 
occupations. Martha, who was burdened with many things, 
is the genius of the human race ; Mary who had chosen the 
one thing needful, is the genius of the missionary band^ who, 
not out of the greatness of their grief, but the greatness of 
their love, have become careless of all those things, save that 
good part which shall not be taken from them." 

Irving gave great offence to the religious leaders of his 
day : they mistook his exalted estimate of what should be the 
character of the missionary, as a stricture on missionaries in 
general, and they charged him with an attempt to lower the 
credit of missionary imdertakings, and as *^ unwittingly to 
give the sanction of his popular name to all the covetous 
reserves of the human heart,^' as is declared in the Evan- 
gelical Magazine for June 1824. 

" The dedicatory letter to Coleridge introduces us to that 
' old man eloquent,' who now sat on Highgate Hill, in the 
asylum of reverent friendship, discoursing of all highest 
themes with garrulous copiousness, but amazing brilUancy 
and profimdity — and to that group of listening disciples, 
which comprised, with Irving, John Sterling, and his two 
biographers, Hare and Carlyle ; Maurice and Trench, Mill 



and Buller — all future rulers in the spirit world. ' The con- 
stant gist of his discourse/ says Carlyle of Coleridge, * was 
lamentation over the sunk condition of the world ; which he 
recognised to be given up to atheism and materialism, full of 
mere sordid disbeliefs, mispursuits and misresults. All 
science had become mechanical ; the science not of men, but of 
a kind of human beavers. Churches themselves had died away 
into a godless mechanical condition, and stood there as mere 
Cases of Articles, mere forms of churches ; like the dried 
carcases of once swift camels, which you find left withering 
in the thirst of the universal desert — ghastly portents for 
the present, beneficent ships of the deserts no more.' Thus 
Coleridge's lament over a Christian Church would deepen 
Irving's native disdain of contemporary conditions. Cole- 
ridge^s transcedental methods of restoring the Divine life to 
human forms, would quicken Irving's inextinguishable hope- 
fulness and love .... He would preach the gospel of uni- 
versal reconciliation, and paint the Millenium not of a sect 
but of the world, and Irving would go away feeling ' a new 
impulse towards truth, a new insight into its depths/ '' 

The cry of " Heretic " was raised against Irving in conse- 
quence of a sermon he preached on **Our Lord's human 
nature.*' His opponents detected the doctrine of the " sinful 
humanity of Christ," while Irving said, *' The point at issue is 
simply this — Whether Christ's fleshhad the grace of sinless- 
ness and incorruption from its proper nature, or from the in- 
dwelling of the Holy Ghost. I say the latter.*' Pitiable as it 
may seem, says Mr. Wilks, on this scarcely appreciable di- 
versity of belief, volumes were to be written, and a fierce war- 
fare of three years maintained ; ending in poor Irving's censure 
by the Presbytery of London, expulsion from the noble edifice 
reared by his friends — ^the beautiful sanctuary in which, as he 
touchingly said, he had '^ baptised and buried his babes " — 
and even excommunication from the loved and extolled 
church of his fatherland ! 

In the spring of 1830 commenced the extraordinary mani- 
festation of " the Unknown Tongues." It did not, however, 
originate in Mr. Irving's congregation, but with some ladies 
resident in Port Glasgow. In his Missionary Oration, Mr. 
Irving hinted his belief that neither the fourfold ministry 
nor the spiritual gifts of the apostolic age were peculiar 
thereto ; but had lapsed through the unfaithfulness of the 
Church. When he heard of Scottish women speaking ai^ 


did the Twelve^ on the day of Pentecost, he despatched an 
elder to inquire into the matter, who brought back a good 
report ; the tongues of flame the elder found on his return 
sitting on his own wife and daughters. For some time only 
in private was the " gift " invited to manifest itself. No 
imposture was detected. Meetings for prayer were held in 
the autumn as early as half-past six every morning, at the 
church in Regent Square, which were numerously attended, 
and one brother from whom the " gift " burst forth with an 
astonishing and terrible crash, suddenly was followed by 
short sentences in English of pious and prophetic expressions 
in a tone of power and authority. In the course of these 
utterances, the pestilence which invaded this land in the 
following summer was distinctly predicted by him as a 
Divine judgment. This "brother" was thenceforward re- 
garded as " the mouth of the congregation," and for some 
time he daily forewarned and admonished them. On Satur- 
day, October 15, after an exposition by Mr. Irving of the 
apostolic injunction that women should keep silence in the 
church, three sisters of the family of the elder who had gone 
to Port Glasgow, spoke as prophetesses. The next day (Sun- 
day) another " sister" burst forth in the open congregation, 
with an utterance in the " tongue." Mr. Irving calmed the 
fifteen hundred or two thousand people that had risen from 
their seats in alarm, and expounded the 14th chapter of the 
1st epistle to the Corinthians as explanatory of the occurrence. 
In the evening a ** brother" produced even greater excite- 
ment than the morning speaker : and in the course of a week 
all London was talking of this new phase in the career of its 
once favourite preacher. 

When Mr. Irving was tried before the Presbytery of Lon- 
don in April 1832 on the charge of heresy, he defended him- 
self as the " minister of Jesus " and not as minister of any 
assembly. (He and the synod of his church had quietly 
withdrawn from the Presbytery some two years before, and 
the General Assembly had distinctly ruled that it could not 
exercise authority beyond the Tweed.) On May 2nd, the 
•'defender " made a second speech in his defence, and with 
such confidence in his own rectitude, and eloquence as to make 
it appear that he was sitting in judgment, but the court de- 
cided unanimously — that "the Rev. Edward Irving had 
rendered himself unfit to remain the minister" of the Cale- 
donian Church, Regent Square, *' and ought to be removed 

St. PANCRAS — PAST ANl) PR^SENl?. 119 

therefrom in pursuance of the conditions of the trust-deed 
of the said church." 

Nearly twelve months after this, Mr. Irving was tried 
before the Presbytery of his native town on the charge of 
heresy. Groups of people had formerly run to meet their illus- 
trious townsman, for his visits to his father's house had 
always " made the place like a fair ; but never had tht 
tanner's son drawn thither such a concourse as on that day.'' 
A similar scene at the trial was enacted as had been witnessed 
in London, with a like result. He was formally and finally 
cut off from the ministry of the Scottish Church. But he, 
the next day, preached under the canopy of Heaven to immense 
multitudes in the market-place and the wayside. " At this 
day, the ploughman will stop in the furrow, within sight, 
perhaps, of a covenanter's grave, or the poet's home, to tell 
the sojourner how he heard ' Doctor Irving ' preach from a 
cart — how he shook his little Bible at the Kirk — and how 
there has been no man like him for preaching the gospel to 
the poor." 

Thus ejected from their church, Mr. Irving and his 
followers, in 1832, occupied, first, the building in Gray's Inn 
Road which was built originally for a horse bazaar. 

The ministrations of Mr. Irving were continued there for a 
few months, till about October, when the New Church removed 
to the building in Newman-street, Oxford- street, erected by the 
sons of Benjamin West, for the exhibition of their father's 
paintings, and then known as West's Picture Gallery, now as 
Cambridge Hall. " The furniture of the building seemed to 
anticipate a new ritual and polity. It contained neither altar 
nor pulpit ; but at the upper end was a lofty semicircular 
platform, reached by a flight of steps. Round the hind part of 
this stage seats were fixed, and in front, looking to the 
audience, a chair and reading-desk for the pastor or * angel,' 
as he was now commonly termed.^' On Christmas eve 
of the year 1832, " through the supernatural action of 
the Apostle alone, who had been so declared to be by 
prophesy at a prayer meeting, one previously called to be an 
evangelist was ordained ; and on the following day, Christmas 
Day, through the concurrent action of the Apostle and the 
Prophet, the one calling for the ordination, the other effecting 
it, but both in manifest supernatural power, an Angel was 
ordained over the church at Albury." Three months later, 
Mr, Irving was deprived of his ministry in the Church of 


Scotland. The prophetic voice in the church declared that 
he must not administer the sacraments, but confine himself 
to the work of a preacher or deacon. This he did ; and after 
the lapse of a week or two, he was '^called and ordained" 
Angel, or chief pastor of the church assembling in Newman- 
street. As Mr. Wilks says, " What surer proof can be 
given of Irving's profoundly sincere belief in the really divine 
character of these * utterances ' P It is held to be proof of a 
man's sincerity that he will suflfer opprobrium and money 
loss, or other form of hardship, rather than unsay or keep 
silence." Here was the '* spectacle of this * man of haughty 
intellect and flattered vanity,' kneeling in the presence of 
the people he had created, to men suddenly from the obscure 
become notorious— and if not Heaven-inspired then silly 
fanatics or sillier knaves. Deeply seated in that big heart 
must have been the belief which could bow so lofby a head 
to a depth of submission derisive to the world ! " 

Mr. Wilks refers to the Newman-street ordination of 
Edward Irving as his Baptism for his Burial and Death ; as 
truly it was. His public work was over. He was no more 
seen in the open places about the city ; he no more claimed 
from press or pulpit the ear of the nation to whom his 
had been a voice that upbraided after it had ceased to 
charm. He removed with his family from the house in 
Judd-place, New Road, where many had enjoyed boimteous 
hospitality, and listened to remarkable colloquies, to the house 
of which the church was an appendage. His well known 
figure was rapidly changing, to the sorrow of all observers. 
His flesh became wan and flaccid ; his raven hair, hoary as 
with extreme age. His eye gleamed with an unquiet light, 
and the hectic spot on his pale cheek betrayed the fire 
burning at his heart. In the spring of 1834 he went to 
Edinburgh to a church to which he was deputed as a prophet. 
He returned, spent the summer in London, suffering, secluded 
and changing. Though rejected from the apostleship by 
reason of the sins of his mother church, he was yet to be a 
prophet unto her, and was again deputed to his native land. 
He set out in September alone. At Liverpool he was so ill, 
that he wrote his wife to join him there. They arrived at 
Glasgow, but were imable to proceed further. From the 
beginning of December he rose no more from his bed. He 
was sensible of the presence of his mother, his wife, his sister, 
and his father-in-law^ the Bev« Mr. Martin, almost to the last 


hour. The day before lie died his wife read to him from the 
Psalms and Epistles. He murmured as if to himself, in the 
Hebrew tongue, *The Lord is my shepherd/ and he was 
heard to say — ' If I die, I die to the Lord ; living and dying 
I ' am the Lord^s.' On Monday, December 8th, 1834, he 
passed away, in his 42nd year. He was buried in the crypt 
of Glasgow Cathedral, and followed to his grave and mourned 
even by the ministers of the Church that had cast him out 
of its commimion ! " 

The successor of such a minister as the eloquent Edward 
Irving would necessarily be at considerable disadvantage, 
unless he possessed abilities with which to be worthily put in 
competition. Several candidates successively occupied the 
pulpit of the church in Regent Square, but for some years 
there was but a small remnant of the once overflowing con- 
gregation. On the selection and settlement, however, of 
Dr. James Hamilton, in 1841, the fine church was again 
filled, and there was soon a revival of all those works 6f an 
educational and benevolent character which almost invariably 
result from an *^ earnest ministry.'' 

When Dr. Hamilton entered upon his new sphere in 
London, he was but in his twenty-seventh year. He had 
been educated at Glasgow ; then appointed to Abernyte, and 
afterwards to Edinburgh, where, after a short ministry, he 
was unanimously elected the successor of the gifted Edward 
Irving. For twenty-six years he pursued an unvarying 
course of usefulness, teaching by his voice and also by his 
pen. His writings, though not profound, were full of beau- 
tiful thoughts, and had much individuality in them, especially 
those addressed to the humbler classes. His ^' Happy Home " 
is an example of simple and beautiful writing. His preaching 
abounded with illustrations calculated to impress the heart as 
well as to inform the mind. His svmpathy with and labours 
for the poor have been already noticed in the account of the 
Somers Town mission which he originated. When his 
ministry on earth came to an. end, in the year 1867, many 
were the tributes paid to his worth. Mr. Harrison, of Park 
Chapel, said, that the oldest deacon of Dr. Hamilton's Church 
(a venerable man who had been deacon also to Edward 
Irving) told him that he had been trying to call to mind 
one action of his that could be censured during the twenty- 
six years he had known him so intimately as their pastor, 
and he could not remember one. Dr. Candlish preached a 



funeral sermon in the Church in Begent Square, and he de- 
livered a message from Dr. Hamilton entrusted to him just 
before his death, " to the Session and the Congregation — to 
some by name, and many more. If any inquire the ground 
of my confidence, it is not that I have been a minister of the 
Gospel, or have been kept from some sins ; for I feel utterly 
unworthy. My hope is in the mercy of God, through Jesus 
Christ, and in that blood which cleanseth from all sin. And 
I wish to go into God's presence as the rest have gone — a 
sinner saved by grace, — a sinner saved by grace." " That,'* 
said Dr. Candlish, "is his latest message to you ; lay it 
solemnly to heart, as I desire to lay it to heart myself.^' Of 
his mental endowments, Dr. Candlish spoke as follows: 
" Gifted originally with an extraordinary combination of 
mind and heart, he had qualities any one of which must 
have made another man distinguished. Of an even tempera- 
ment, ready wit, a keen sense of humour, a quick perception 
of beauty, a correct and capacious memory, he had an order of 
arrangement and a power of speech not often found in any 
one man. Need I speak of his manly disposition, or of his 
warmheartedness, is generosity, his wide sympathy, or of the 
elevated tone of happy charity which won the admiration 
and esteem of everyone? His presence made sunshine 
amongst you. All miss him, and all feel that at such a time 
as this such a m^n can ill be spared, for he was indeed, to use 
our poet's words, * a rare man.' " 

^ Dr. Hamilton had never viewed the subject of death with 
feelings of gloom. A few years before his death when in 
Germany, he saw a funeral procession passing through a 
country village, and a hymn was being sung (not one of 
gloom or sadness, but of joy) in accordance with their 
custom : he then translated it ; and it was sung at his own 
funeral service in Regent square Church. His remains were 
interred in Highgate Cemetery, and were followed by a vast 
number of friends. 

The Church was again for a short time without a pastor ; 
but the Rev. Oswald Dykes was at length elected, and has 
already proved himself to be a worthy successor, of the 
eminent men whose characters and labours have rendered 
the Scotch Church in Regent Square celebrated in the 





At the beginning of the present century, the Foundling 
Hospital stood alone in " Lamb's Conduit Fields, as one 
of the monuments of the piety and well-intentioned thought- 
ful care of our forefathers. The original object of its 
establishment, as stated in thd Royal Charter granted in 
1739, was " for the reception, maintenance, and education of 
deserted children, after the example of France, Holland, and 
other Christian countries/* 

Attention had been frequently called by public writers, 
such as Addison, and others before him, to the fact that no 
provision had been made for "foundlings, or for those 
children who, through want of such a provision,'* were con- 
veyed, as Shakspere wrote, to "some place where chance 
might nurse or end them." Poor wretches, that for their 
'* mothers' fault were thus exposed to loss and what might 
follow." Many worthy persons were at length moved with 
compassion at the sight of innocent children who were ex- 
posed daily to misery and death. Many infants were thus 
murdered by their mothers to avoid their own exposure and 
ruin ; and, as Addison said, " scarce an assizes was held 
where some unhappy wretch was not executed for the murder 
of a child." 

The first attempts in the reign of Queen Anne with the 
benevolent object of saving some of these poor innocents 
were met with opposition, on the ground that such an. under- 
taking would be an encouragement to vice, by providing a 
too easy means for the support of illegitimate children. 
Money, however, was collected by means of legacies and sub- 
scriptions ; but not until Captain Coram took up the cause 
did the scheme assume a tangible shape. This benevolent 
man was the master of a trading vessel, and while following 
his vocation he had observed between Botherhithe and London 


the number of helpless infants exposed and left; to perish. 
He entered heartily into the project of providing a place of 
refuge for all such. He persevered for seventeen years, and 
at last obtained the signature of many of the most eminent 
ladies and gentlemen to a memorial to the King, George 
11. , who granted the charter, authorising the Governors to 
purchase real estates, not exceeding £4,000 per annum. The 
charter is dated 17th October 1739, and a corporation was 
appointed, including John Duke of Bedford, and several 
PeerS; the Master of the Rolls, the Speaker of the House of 
Commons, the Attorney General, the Solicitor General and 
Captain Coram. The Captain had the satisfaction of seeing the 
first home for deserted infants opened on 26th October 1740, at 
a house in Hatton Garden. A notice was placed on the door 
the day previous to opening, stating that —" To-morrow, at 
eight o'clock in the evening, this house will be opened for the 
reception of twenty children, under the following regulations. 
No child exceeding the age of two months will be taken in, 
nor such as have the evil, leprosy, or diseases of like nature. 
The person who brings a child is to come at the outward door 
and ring a bell at the inward door, and not to go away until 
the child is returned, or notice given of its reception ; but 
no questions whatever will be adted of any person bringing 
a child, nor shall any servant of the house presume to 
endeavour to discover who such person is, on pain of being 
discharged. All persons who bring children are requested 
to affix on such child some particular writing, or other 
distinguishing mark or token, so that the children may be 
known if hereafter necessary.'' The twenty children were 
soon forthcoming, and a notice appeared on the door — " The 
house is full " — to the disappointment and dismay of the crowd 

It was found necessary to alter the mode of admission, for the 
scenes which were enacted of mothers fighting and struggling 
to get in the front that they might obtain an entrance into 
the outward door, became a disgrace and a nuisance in Hatton 
Garden. The strongest succeeded in getting rid of their 
children, but many infants in the contest got seriously 
injured. Thus the demands for the admission of infants were 
so overwhelming, that a larger building became necessary, and 
additional funds were solicited and obtained. The estate 
called the Lamb's Conduit Fields was purchased of the Earl 
of Salisbury, in 1741, for the sum of £5,50^). The Earl would 


not sell a part of the estate, so the Governors of the Charity 
were obliged to purchase the whole, perhaps thinking at the 
time that they were not treated with consideration : but the 
surplus land has proved to be a source of support and ultimate 
enrichment of the Hospital. 

The western wing of the present Hospital was opened in 
1745. The other portions soon afterwards arose, and in 
1747 the chapel was commenced. George II. contributed 
£3,000, and other subscriptions were given. The governors 
were also encouraged by Thomas Emerson, Esq., a late 
governor, to undertake the east wing, in which the girls 
could be kept separate from the boys. At his decease, he 
left the residue of his estate, upwards of £11,000, to this 
Hospital. The celebrated composer Handel gave the large 
profits from a performance of his music, and the performance 
of his Messiah in the chapel for several years, under his own 
superintendence, obtained £7,000 for the charity. He also 
gave the fine organ, and when he performed on it he drew 
great audiences, and thus added greatly to the funds. The 
altar-piece is by Benjamin West, the subject being an illus- 
tration of the text " Except ye become as little children.*' 
The musical services, which were commenced at the suggestion 
of Handel, are to the present day one great means of main- 
taining crowded congregations on Sunday, a small contri- 
bution being required for the funds of the charity. 

When Captain Thomas Coram died, in the 84th year of 
his age, on 29th March 1761, "poor in wordly estate, yet 
rich in good works,*' he was buried, at his own desire, as 
stated in a monumental inscription in the Hospital Chapel, ^4n 
the vault underneath this chapel (the first there deposited) 
at the east end thereof, iqany of the Governors tod other 
gentlemen attending the funeral to do honour to his memory.'* 
The inscription further states that he was ''a man eminent 
in that most eminent virtue, the love of mankind ; little at« 
tentive to his private fortune, and refusing many oppor- 
tunities of increasing it, his time and thoughts were con- 
tinually employed in endeavours to promote the public 
happiness, both in this kingdom and elsewhere, particularly 
in the colonies of North America ; and his endeavours were 
many times crowned with the desired success. His un- 
wearied solicitation for above seventeen years together (which 
would have baffled the patience and industry of any man 
less zealous in doing good) obtained at length the Charter of 


the Incorporation for the maintenance and education of ex- 
posed and deserted young children, by which many thousands 
of lives may be preserved to the public, and employed in a 
frugal and honest course of industry/^ The applicatio n of 
the moral of such a life is then added : '' Reader, Thy actions 
will show whether thou art sincere in the praises thou mayest 
bestow on him : And if thou has virtue enough to commend 
his Virtues, forget not to add also the imitation of them/* 

A well executed statue of Captain Coram was erected a 
few years since, and placed in the centre of the entrance gates 
to the Hospital. 

There are monumental inscriptions in the Chapel in 
memory of several former Governors; to Baron Charles 
Tenterden, who died in 1833, aged 46. To Sergeant Watson, 
in 1818, aged 59. One to Samuel Compton Cox, who was 
for 33 years Treasurer of the Hospital, and who died in 1839, 
aged 81, states that it was " In gratitude for his Christian 
care of the objects of the charity.'* Charles Pott, Vice 
President, and for 13 years Treasurer, was "taken to his 
rest in the 78th year of his age.*' John Heath, many years 
a Governor, died in 1830, aged 82 ; John Thomas, a 
Governor, in 1849, aged 88 years ; James Kendle Browne, 
in 1854, aged 82 years ; Sir Stephen Gaselee, in 1839, aged 
76; and James Farrer, in 1846, in his 93rd year. Nearly 
all these were buried in the vault under the chapel. 

James Frederick Pyne, who was for many years **the 
celebrated tenor singer of the Theatres Royal,** was also for 
" upwards of 40 years a member of the choir of the Found- 
ling Hospital, and musical instructor of the children of the 
same institution.** He died Sept. 23, 1857, in the 73rd 
year of hts age, much lamented. 

Amongst the celebrated preachers at the Foundling Chapel 
was the Kev. John Hewlett, b.d., who, for 29 years was the 
Morning Preacher. The inscription to his memory states, 
that " Li style he was forcible and clear ; earnest in ex- 
hortation, and sound in doctrine. His mind was richly 
stored with ancient and modern literature, and his writings 
afford ample proofs of scientific and theological attainments.** 
He died April 1844, aged 86. 

Amongst eminent preachers who were appointed to preach 
on special occasions were Lawrence Sterne, in 1761 ; and the 
Bev. Sidney Smith at a later date. 

A full length portrait of Captain Coram, in the girls* 


dining room, was painted and presented to the Hospital by 
William Hogarth, who was one of its earliest Governors and 
Guardians. He also presented other pictures, and in other 
ways greatly assisted his friend the founder. Perhaps the 
gem of the collection is the " March to Finchley,"' in which 
is shown the "Adam and Eve,'* with the " King's Head," 
and Tottenham Court turnpike. Hogarth disposed of this 
picture by lottery ; he gave some of the unsold tickets to the 
hospital, and one of them obtained the prize. 

These and other pictures were shown to the public and 
became attractive ; and out of that success grew the first 
Exhibition of the Royal Academy, in the Adelphi, in the 
year 1760. The painters often met at the hospital; the 
exhibition of their pictures drew daily crowds of spectators, 
in their splendid equipages ; and a visit to the Foundling 
became the most fashionable morning lounge of the reign of 
George II. The grounds in front of the hospital were a 
fashionable promenade; and brocaded silks, gold headed 
canes, and laced three-cornered (Egham, Staines and 
Windsor) hats formed a gay bevy in Lamb's Conduit Fields. 
On the 21st of June, 1799, George III. here inspected the 
St. Pancras Volunteers. 

From a balance sheet of the hospital accounts from October 
17, 1739 (the date of the charter) to December 31, 1752, 
£28,419 had been received from benefactions, £32,798 
from legacies, £6,106 for the chapel; annual subscriptions, 
and other sums enabled the trustees to meet a total ex-^ 
penditurein 12 years of £84,515. The charge for building 
the hospital and outbuildings was £22,072 ; the chapel had 
then cost £5,659. General expenses in town, £16,782 ; in 
the country, £11,343 ; clothing of the children, furniture, 
and other expenses made up a general total of £59,407. 
All the pictures and ornaments were presents to the hospital. 
The purchase of £19,000 stock in bank annuities cost 
£16,996 ; the lands and houses purchased of the Earl of Salis- 
bury, including repairs, cost £7,341, and other items made 
up the balance. 

From March 25, 1741, to December 31, 1752, the number 
of children received had been 1,040 ; of that number 471 had 
died ; four had been returned to their parents ; eight ap- 
prenticed ; the remainder being in the country and in the 

The governors at that time thought it prudent to limit the 


number of children taken in. " However/' it was stated, 
by a public writer, in 1757, " as the good consequences which 
must accrue to the public by taking in greater numbers, were 
so apparent, the wisdom of Parliament gave their generous 
assistance, to enable this hospital to be a general receptacle 
of all children which may be abandoned and deserted.'* 

Parliament voted in the year 1756, £10,000 **for enabling 
the governors and guardians of the hospital for the main- 
tenance and education of exposed and deserted children, to 
receive all such children, under a certain age to be by them 
limited, as shall be brought to the said hospital before Jan- 
uary 1, 1758, and to enable them to continue to carry into 
execution the good purposes for which they were incorpo- 

The next session the governors had to famish the House of 
Commons with an " account of how the money granted had 
been expended ; " that account was, upon motion read, " and 
Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer (by his Majesty's com- 
mand) acquainted the House, that his Majesty recommended 
the further care of the said charity to the consideration of 
the House." The House that year (1757) voted £30,000. 

This sanction by Parliament for the general admission of 
children, led to the establishment of country hospitals, &c. 
A basket was hung at the gate of the hospital in London, 
into which the children were deposited by the mother, who 
rang the bell and departed, never afterwards, it might be, to 
see or recognise her child ! 

In 1757, printed bills were posted in the streets apprising 
the public of their privilege. The consequences were la- 
mentable. This easy way of disposing of illegitimate off- 
spring increased the evils the benevolent promoters had 
laboured to remove ; and from the want of means of rearing 
so many children the greater number died. Of 14,934 
children received in three years and ten months, 10,389 
perished from the inability to find nurses to rear them! 
Children were brought from all parts of the country ; one wo- 
man undertook the carrying of children to the hospital at so 
much per head. The poor infants left were sometimes quite 
naked in the basket. Parliament, *' in its wisdom '* at last 
was compelled to interfere, and by an Act passed in 1760, 
repealed the provision relating to indiscriminate admission. 
This ill-judged experiment cost no less a sum than £549,796 
to the country, and considerably aggravated the evil it was 



intended to mitigate or remove. The governors then adopted 
a no less objectionable mode, of payment of £100 on the re- 
ception of the infants ; this was not abolished, however, till 
the year 1801. 

The institution ceased to be a hospital for foundlings in 
1760, while the name has been retained, so that much mis- 
apprehension exists in the public mind as to its real character. 

"Time was,'\ the lamented Charles Uickens wrote, in 
1867, in " If o Thoroughfare,^' "when the Foundlings were 
received without question in a cradle at the gate. Time is, 
when inquiries are made respecting them, and they are taken 
as by favour from the mothers who relinquish all natural 
knowledge of them and claim to them for evermore.'* 

It is necessary as a claim for admission now, that the 
children be illegitimate, except the father be a soldier or 
sailor killed in the service of his country ; the mother must 
have borne a good character previous to her misfortune ; she 
must also be poor, and have no relations able or willing to 
maintain her child. The main object, the Trustees state, is 
to " hide the shame of the mother, as well as to preserve the 
life of the child ; " and they dismiss her from the hospital 
with the injunction to ^^sin no more." 

The day after the children are received, they are baptised, 
and a christian and surname (not the child's sirename) be- 
stowed. Being infants of not more than two months old, 
they are then sent to one of the two stations either in East 
Peckh'am in Kent, or-Chertsey in Surrey. The nurses who 
receive them are paid 3s. 6d. a week for each child, and a 
gratuity of lOs. 6d. at the end of the first year if the infant 
appears to have been carefully reared. The nurses are in the 
condition, generally, of poor cottagers ; and as a rule they 
perform their duties creditably. It is said that a mutual at- 
tachment is invariably formed between children and nurses, 
and when the time for the final separation of the temporary 
tie arrives and the child is removed to London, it then suffers 
its first real sorrow. Very similar rules are observed to 
those in orphan asylums ; when the children are of the age 
to be apprenticed, in the case of boys, premiums of £5 or 
£10 are paid ; and the girls are put to service under strict 
supervision. Once in every year a meeting is held of the 
apprentices, and other means are taken to retain the home 
ties and sympathies as long as possible. 

In the "analysis of the expenditure" for the year ending 



31st December 187 1, the peculiar character of the institution 
is pointed out ; one material fact being that the children are 
admitted at an age when it is impossible to determine the 
state of their physical or mental endowments ; '^ consequently 
the Hospital is burdened as they grow up with objects out of 
sight; thus, for instance^ there were maintained, in 1871^ out 
of the walls, eight adults who are either idiotic, deformed, 
or otherwise unfit for service or labour. In former years, the 
number of this class maintained by the Hospital was much 
larger." There is a Benevolent Fund for this purpose which 
has partially relieved the Hospital of late years of this 

During the year 1872, 664 children were maintained: 
352 were in the Hospital on 3l8t December 1871 ; at nurse 
in the country, 141 ; while 1 had been restored to his mother ; 
1 died in the house, and 16 in the country ; 84 had been 
apprenticed ; and besides 9 imbecile adults, of whom 1 had 
died, there were added during the year, 51, their average 
age being about four months. It is stated also that '' about 
one half 'p{ the infants, when admitted, were in a sickly, if 
not a diseased state." 

To maintain this large family cost £10,823 19s. 8d., which 
divided by 491, the average number on the establishment in 
1871, gives £22 Os. Hid. per head. The extraneous expen- 
diture was £578 Is. 6d. for premiums for apprentices, outfits, 
and gratuities. 

The actual income from rents of the Hospital Estates 
was £5,467 13s. Id. ; from dividends on Bank Stock, 
£5,082 19s. 9d. ; from pew-rents at Chapel, £829 3s., and 
contributions at the chapel doors, £999 6s. 2d., from which 
is deducted £1,093 3s. 4d. for salaries of clergy, organist, 
singers and attendants ; the total income being £11,868 
4s. lOd. Thus half the revenue is derived from the ground 
rental of the estate, which is covered with squares and 
buildings, and at the present time produces an annual income 
nearly equal to the original purchase-money. 

In about twenty years the leases will fall in, and Sir 0. 
Dilke stated in the House of Commons in July, 1872, that 
the estate would then probably be worth £100,000 a year. 
But Mr. Gregory, the present Treasurer of the Hospital, in 
reply, said that '' they might realise an income of £50,000 
a year, but not until a considerable time had elapsed." He 
also stated that the ''Committee were contemplating a 


scheme for the fatore management of the estate when the 
leases fell in/' ' 

In one sense the necessity for the continued existence of 
such an institution is a reproach to the morality of Christian 
England ; but surely £50,000 a year will never be spent for 
such a purpose. A large portion might, be applied, in the 
spirit of the excellent Founder, — " in endearours to promote 
the Public Happiness both in this Kingdom and elsewhere," ^ 
by aiding virtuous poverty and Christian self-denial. 

The estate on which the Foundling Hospital is built was 
originally called the Lamb^s Conduit Estate^ or Fields, from 
the name of the founder of the conduit there, William 
Lambe, who was bom in Kent, and was ''for some time a 
gentleman of the chappele of King Hennr the Eighth, and 
afterwards a Citizen and Clothworker of London,' as Stow 
informs us ; and further adds — '* Neere unto Holborne he 
founded a faire conduite and a standard with a cocke at 
Holborne Bridge, and the water was carried along in pipes 
of lead from the north fields more than two thousand yards, 
all at his own cost and charge, amounting to the sum of 
fifteen hundred pounds. These works were begun the six- 
and-twentieth day of March, 1557, and fully finished the 
24th of August the same yeere. He gave also pails to one 
hundred and twenty poor women, wherewith to serve and 
carry this water as it ran out." 

In 1707, the conduit was described by Edward Hatton, in 
his '* New View of London '^ as standing ** somewhat above 
the north end of Eed Lion-street, Holbom, in the fields 
(where now Lamb's Conduit-street is), and affording plenty 
of water, clear as crystal, which is chiefly used for drinking. 
It belongs to St. Sepulchre's parish, the fountain head being 
under a stone, marked S. S. P., in the vacant ground a little 
south of Ormond-street, whence the water comes in a drein 
to this conduit ; and it runs thence in lead pipes (2000 yards 
long) to the conduit on Snow-hill, which has the figure of 
a Lamb upon it, denoting that its water comes from Lamb's 

When the Foundling Hospital was erected the conduit was 
taken down, as we learn from the same authority, and the 
water conveyed to the east side of Eed Lion-street, at the 
end (now Lamb's Conduit-street) ; an inscription stating the 
waters to be preserved ''by building an arch over the same/' 



Mr. J. Wykeham Archer discovered, in 1851, beneath a 
trap-door in the pavement of the Lamb-yard, a short flight 
of steps, a brick vault, and the covered well ; and on the 
north wall of the next yard southward, this inscription cut in 
wood, over a recess now bricked up : '^ Lamb's Conduit, the 
property of the City of London. This pump is erected for 
the benefit of the Publick.'^ 

Mr. John Tirabs says in his *' Curiosities of London," " In 
the garden of the house, No. 30, East- street. Lamb's Conduit- 
street, is a pump and spring ; and on the opposite wall a 
stone stating this to be the head of the spring Lamb s Conduit 

It is a remarkable fact that from the time of Jacob when 
he gave to the people that deep well in the Valley of Samaria, 
of the waters of which he ** drank himself, and his children, 
and his cattle,** down to almost our own day the people have 
been indebted to the benevolent forethought of individuals 
for the supply of water, one of the great necessities of health 
and even life itself. The conduits which formerly supplied 
the inhabitants of London were all rendered unnecessary 
(however invaluable at one time) by the introduction of the 
New River, and other similar sources of supply. The Lon- 
doners had no other means than by fetching their daily 
supply, or by paying men or women who carried it in pails 
suspended from a yoke. Hence the value of William 
Lambe's bequest of the pails to 120 poor "women where- 
with to serve and carry this water." 

When the New River Company were able, in 1608, to 
supply the metropolis, the various conduits and pipes were 
neglected, excepting Lambe's Conduit, and some few others. 
It was considered one of the most wonderful benefits the 
metropolis possessed, that the inhabitants should have water 
conveyed to their houses, with unfailing precision and 
regularity, for the expense to each house of only a few 
shillings a year. But it cost Sir Hugh Middleton a large 
fortune to efiect this great boon. When his own resources were 
exhausted^ he applied for aid to the citizens of London, but 
without success ; he then applied to King James for his help 
to complete the good work. That assistance was granted, 
and the object attained ; but Sir Hugh Middleton remained 
a poor man till near the close of his life, when at last the 
great work began to repay him. To individual benevolent 
enterprise, however, was due the constant and unfailing 



benefit. The memory of good William Lambe will be like- 
wise "for ever" preserved, not only for the supply of that 
water of which '* Whosoever drinketh shall thirst again ; '' 
but in that he endowed the chapel or church of St. James 
in the Wall nigh Cripplegate, in trust to the Clothworkers' 
Company ; and a sufficient sum to give every year to twelve 
poor men and women coats and gowns of frieze and other 
clothing besides shoes, on the four principal festivals of the 
year. "And lastly after the decease of the said William 
Lambe from time to time for evermore find an honest, virtuous 
and sad chaplain that shall in the forenoon of every Wednes- 
day, every Friday, and every Sunday say Divine Service in 
the said chapel or church." If the devises and bequests 
should fail to be done " by the space of one whole year," then 
all the " lands and tenements with all and singular their 
appurtenances *' were to become the property of " the Presi- 
dent and Fellows of St. John's College of Oxford to the use 
of the poor scholars of the said College for ever.'^ 

In the years 1824, 1825, and 1826, "the old chapel of 
St. James having fallen into decay was pulled down, and a 
new one was erected in Wood-street Square, formerly Lambe's 
Court, and is hereinafter called. Lambe's Chapel.*' 

The following clause in an Act passed in the Session of 
1872 states that, " by reason of the changes which have taken 
place in the City of London, there is no longer a resident 
population in the neighbourhood of Lambe's Chapel capable 
of receiving the benefits contemplated by the said William 
Lambe ; " and the intentions of the said William Lambe in 
regard to the said chapel are at present frustrated, and the 
expense of keeping up the said chapel, and paying a chaplain 
to perform Divine Service therein is in foot uselessly incurred : 
And whereas, having regard to the spiritual destitution of 
many of the suburbs of London, it would be of great public 
advantage and in accordance as near as may be with the pious 
and charitable intentions of the said William Lambe, that 
instead of the said Lambe's Chapel as now existing a ch^urch 
should be built and endowed in one of such suburbs aforesaid." 
The Clothworkers' Company have therefore obtained powers 
by this Act to build and endow a church " within the limits 
of the ancient parish of Islington,'" and to endow at St. 
John's College, Oxford, a scholarship of £80 annually, as an 
equivalent for all their claim and interest under the will of 
William Jjambe. The church is to contain five hundred free 


sittings ; fifty of which are to be appropriated for the use of 
the poor and aged persons designed to be especially benefited 
by the founder. £4,000 at the least is to be spent on the 
erection of the church, and a residence is to be provided for 
the minister, which minister is to be nominated by the Cloth- 
workers' Company. The charitable gifts " to poor aged men 
and women, being impotent or lame, are to bid continued," 
but with such modifications as are in accordance with the 
present day, ''substituting blankets or other articles of warmth 
and comfort for the articles other than shoes directed to be 
giyen,'^ so that the full value of £14 14s. shall be expended 
annually. The provisions of 12 July, 10th of Elizabeth, are 
to be observed in the new church as to attendance at Divine 
Service at stated times. The bequest of good William Lambe 
will therefore be observed in the spirit and almost in the 

" I pray you all that receive bread and pence. 
To Bay the Lord's Prayer before ye go hence *' — 

is, however, required by the Founder, as inscribed on his 
monument in the Church of St. Faith, under St. Paul's 



LIMBE's CONDXHT bath — POWIS place and wells — BOLTOir 
HOUSE — colonnade — EUSSELL institution — LITTLE CORAM! 

Thb water of Lambe's Conduit suppKed the bath, known as 
" Lamb's Conduit Cold Bath " which was opened " for Ladies 
and Gentlemen '' in 1785. It was then described as " large, 
cheerful, and commodious, and constantly supplied by the 
well-known and much-esteemed water of the Conduit, which 
continually flows into the bath, and fills it in a few hours ; 
a safe and convenient place for bathing children. A careful 
and attentive guide for Ladies. Warm baths are con- 
structing, and will be finished in a short time. Families 
may bathe on moderate terms.'' 

Adjoining LamVs Conduit Place westward was Powis 
Place, where, in 1754, the waters in Powis Wells were ad- 
vertised as being ** in their full perfection.'^ They are des- 
cribed as " of a sweetening, diuretic, and gently purging 
quality," and were recommended by many eminent phy- 
sicians and surgeons for the cure of various scorbutic and 
leprous disorders, " giddiness and obstinate head-aches ; also 
in some rheumatic and paralytick cases. They are not only 
proper to be drank internally, but may be used externally 
by way of bathing or pumping upon the diseased part. 
Those who send for these waters are desired to take notice 
that the bottles are sealed upon the cork with the words 
Powis Wells Water/' 

Inquiry in the neighbourhood as to the existence of these 
valuable waters was without result, except that " it must be 
the water of the pump in Queen Square." This pump (which 


the *' keeper " remembered for 17 years) is only accessible to 
the inhabitants who pay for a key. It was said to be " splen- 
did water " by one who also knew Powis Place fiftjr years 
ago, when the inhabitants " mostly kept their carriages." 
There are still fine old trees in the gardens, but they will 
probably ere long be removed, for the increase of buildings. 
The new buildings for the " Hospital for Sick Children " in 
Great Ormond-street (of which the Princess of Wales laid 
the first stone on the 11th July 1872,) when completed will 
destroy the pleasant prospect of trees and gardens, and per- 
haps lead to the still further covering of the ground in front 
of the houses in Powis Place. 

The tendency of the court and of the aristocracy being 
westward, a change in the class of inhabitants of Great Or- 
mond-street and Powis Place has rendered this neighbourhood 
altogether dissimilar to what it was in 1764. There was- 
then a communication from Powis Place with what was after- 
wards called Guildford-street ; but there were no houses 
between those in Powis Place and Bolton House, which 
originally was a mansion surrounded by a garden, its western 
side being towards the " Duke of Bedford's Private Road," 
that road at the beginning of the present century being 
through the Lamb's Conduit Fields. Bolton House was at 
one time known as the residence of a notorious Lord Baltimore. 
The frontage of the mansion was then northwards, part of 
which may still be seen from Bolton Gardens. In later 
times, Mr. Justice Talfourd occupied it, but then three 
other houses had been joined to it, on that part of the gar- 
den adjoining Guildford-street. There were scenes of pleasure 
and revelry enacted here, which were suddenly terminated 
by the lamented death of Talfourd, whose last words on the 
Bench were memorable as a lamentation for the lack of 
sympathy between the rich and the poor, and of the in- 
temperance of the latter class. Bolton House is now in the 
occupation of Mr. Bowen May, a wealthy solicitor. 

The prospect from the back of the Foundling Hospital, for 
many years after its erection, was of quite a rural character. 
Old prints of the period of 1750 represent the Hospital as 
standing alone, which it did till the beginning of the present 
century, with fields extending towards Hampstead and High- 
gate ; Islington and Old St. Pancras Churches being the only 
buildings then in view. The " sister hills," were prominent 
and pleasant objects in the background. Detached villas 


were afterwards built, one of which is still remaining in 
Gray's Inn Road, at the end of "Upper North Place,'' 
while the date of the erection of that Place (1796) remains 
on the corner house. As buildings arose in the district, they 
were referred to in advertisements in newspapers of the 
period as being situated ** over against the Foundling Hos- 
pital," &c. Some of those buildings, which now cover the 
once pleasant fields have historical and biographical memories 
associated with them, but most of them are fading away, 
either from want of interest to the present generation, or from 
the want of some permanent record of them. 

Many interesting particulars respecting the Foundling 
Hospital Estate, once the Lambe's Conduit Fields, and the 
adjoining *' Long Fields," might be related did space admit. 
All that can be here recorded will be but a brief allusion to 
some of them. 

The Colonnade, one entrance to which is in Grenville- 
street, Brunswick Square, and the other in a narrow lane 
leading into Guildford-street^ has the general appearance on 
one side of a mews. On the other side there is a line of 
small shops. The pavement is raised some three or four feet 
from the roadway. The upper floors extend over the pave- 
ment, thereby forming a covered way, which is supported by 
pillars, and underneath the pavement is a room or cellar, in 
some instances lighted by windows. 

About forty years since, the rooms over one of those shops 
were converted into a library and reading-room, promoted 
principally by a Mrs. Bead, who then resided in (irenville- 
street. At its opening, an address was delivered" by Dr, 
Boott, and lectures were subsequently given by Dr. Roget, 
and other eminent men of the day. Mr. Reece Pem- 
berton gave a characteristic lecture ; Mr. Richard Chambers, 
a lecture on botany, in which he entered most enthusiastically 
into his subject, telling his audience where they could find 
specimens, many of which, then pleasant spots, are now built 
upon. The lectures of the Rev. W. J. Fox (then a very 
popular lecturer) were read by a member 5 but, perhaps, the 
most delighted, though overcrowded, audience was that which 
listened to a Miss Macarthy, of the Theatres Royal, who 
delineated the character of Lady Macbeth. There were con- 
certs occasionally, a.nd the management of the library and 
reading room (wbich also formed the lecture room) was in 


the hands of the members^ consisting mainly of the working 
classes, apprentices, &c., each of whom were introduced on 
the recommendation of two members. Without any pre- 
tentious claims, the institution was very beneficial in its 
character, for many years. The Colonnade is at the present 
time a somewhat squalid neighbourhood, having, like most 
others degenerated n:om its original condition. 

On the taking down of Bedford House in the year 1799, 
by direction of Francis Duke of Bedford, buildings soon 
began to cover its site, as well as that of the Long Fields. 
The noble houses then being built in Russell-square and ad- 
joining streets were calculated to attract, if not aristocratic, 
weathy residents. This presumption induced the Duke's 
architect, Mr. James Burton, to provide an Assembly Boom, 
as places of public resort were then so called. The Duke 
favoured the project by granting a lease of 98 years, at £lO 
a year ground rent, of land which had been '' taken in ex- 
change of the Foundling Hospital, and also part of the Duke's 
Private Road." The Duke died prematurely on 2nd March 
1802, but his successor confirmed the grant. The building 
was opened according to the original design of Mr. Burton, 
in February 1804-, and was called the " Russell Assembly 
Rooms." Balls, concerts, and billiards, however, proved to 
be a failure, and after three years' trial, it was resolved by 
the architect to form a literary institution similar to the 
Royal Institution in Albemarle-street. Circulating libraries 
at that time had spread throughout the nation, their origin 
being due to a bookseller named Batho, at a house, then No. 
132, in the Strand ; but literary institutions, now so general, 
were then rare. The projector of what was now to be called 
the "Russell Literary and Scientific Institution," had the 
assistance of Mr. James Scarlett (afterwards Lord Abinger) 
and several other legal gentlemen. It was a joint stock pro- 
ject, being carried out by means of shares. The share- 
holders met in April 1808, appointed trustees and officers, 
and framed rules. Dr. Nathaniel Highmore was the first 
librarian. The Duke of Gloucester was elected President 
and the Duke of Bedford and others vice-presidents. Lord 
Abinger, Sir Francis Romilly, Henry Hallam the Historian, 
Francis Horner, Dr. Mason Good, and many other distin- 
guished men were also patrons and members. Mr. Burton 
ultimately disposed of his interest for £2,700. To the 
classified Catalogue of the Library, containing 17,000 volumesj 


is added an account of the origin and progress of the in- 
stitution, written by Mr. E. W. Brayley, f.r.s., then its 
secretary, which was published in 1849. A supplement was 
added in June 1869. Many presentations have been made 
of pictures, busts, &c.; but the most noticeable gift, is that 
by a former Duke of Bedford, of the large picture of " Xeno- 
phon, &c." painted by B. R. Haydon. It was won by his 
Grace in the lottery by which it was disposed of in 1836. 
John Gait was amongst the . benefactors, and he was also an 
active member. It is stated by Mr. Brayley that the in- 
stitution was "lit with gas in 1821." The exterior of the 
building is heavy, and the two pillared porticoes at either 
end are retained, but the baths to which they were entrances 
have long been disused, and in their stead wines and spirits 
are stored. The adjoining house, too, in which formerly re- 
sided the chief officer of the institution is now occupied by a 
wine merchant. The main objects, however, are still main- 
tained. Twenty daily papers, the leading monthly and 
annual publications are supplied; a whist club meets on 
Wednesday and Saturday evenings, and the subscribers and 
proprietors have free admission to the lectures and musical 

Little Goram-street, at the side of the institution, has 
greatly degenerated since the time when probably its shops 
were patronised by some of the inhabitants of the " Squares." 
Coram Place and Russell Place, originally tenanted by coach- 
men, ostlers, and other servants of the " carriage folks *' in 
the neighbourhood, became of late years so densely crowded 
that the trustees of the Foundling Hospital estate were 
induced, for sanitary reasons, to pull down what might have 
become a fever den, in which more than three hundred 
families were herded together. Hence at the present time a 
large space of groimd between Great Coram-street and 
Tavistock Place is awaiting the decision of the owners as to 
whether Peabody or other buildings, or schools are to be 
erected. If commodious and well-regulated dwellings suit- 
able for the poor families thus temporarily ejected should 
take the room of the former squalid " Places," a great gain 
to the order and morality of the neighbourhood will necessarily 
be the result. It is understood that the charity by its charter 
cannot sell any portion of the estate, but the trustees might 
exchange when necessary, as in the case of a portion of the 
site of the BusseU Institution. 


By an archway at the end of Little Coram-street, Tavistock 
Place is entered. It is worthy of notice, for many distin- 
guished persons were once residents here. The spreading 
plane tree at the corner facing the square is spoken of as 
having at one time birds' nests in its branches. That tree 
has the appearance of having been planted there previous to 
the house being built. At No. 32, lived Francis Douse, 
illustrator of Shakspere ; then it was occupied by John Gait, 
in his day a popular novelist, and at one time editor of the 
*' Courier/' which post he ultimately resigned rather thansacri- 
fice his conscientious convictions. At No. 37, now occupied 
by Sir M. Digby Wyatt, Francis Baily, f.r.s., in an ob' 
servatory in the garden, weighed the Earth, and calculated 
its bulk and figure. At No. 19, lived Sir Harris Nicolas, the 
Peerage antiquary. At No. 10, John Britton, a most in- 
dustrious topographical author, and Mrs. Mary Ann Clarke 
(afterwards suffered to die in poverty), while mistress of the 
Duke of York, lived at No. 34. 

Woburn Episcopal Chapel in this Place, was erected about 
the year 1811, and is noteworthy as being at one time the 
property of the Rev. Bagnall Baker. He ministered to a 
large and influential congregation here some thirty years 
since. Unhappily for him, he fell in with the views and 
practices advocated in the " Tracts for the Times," then called 
Puseyism, but which would have been more appropriately 
called Newmanism, as Dr. Newman^s was the leading mind 
of the movement, and he proved his sincerity by following 
out his reasoning to its legitimate conclusion by entering the 
Romish Church. 

Mr. Baker, with many others, was deceived by the apparent 
approval of his Diocesan ; but when the laity made a deter- 
mined stand against what were then viewed by them as 
Romanising practices, and it became necessary that official 
attention should be taken, Bishop Blomfield in a celebrated 
Charge on the subject, stated that he saw no objection to the 
candles being placed on the altar, only there was no necessity 
for lighting them in the day time ! In similar style he 
referred to the whole question, instead of speaking with 
authority and decision, which many persons thought he 
ought to have done as a Protestant Bishop ; thus he merely 
stated the case as viewed from both sides, and left each party 
to infer that it was right. Mr, B^ker therefore followed his 
own convictions, but to his ruin, for he was made the especial 


victim to the Bishop's concession to public opinion, which 
was then decidedly opposed to the threatened innovation on 
the accustomed mode of conducting Divine worship in the 
Established Church. Mr. Baker was accordingly suspended 
by the Bishop for two years from preaching in his diocese. 
A series of calamities followed this deprivation of his only 
means of temporal support : his two daughters died of fever ; 
he sank into poverty ; his mind gave way, and he at length 
ended his days in a lunatic asylum. Public opinion has 
greatly changed since that time, so that even the confessional 
is tolerated in some churches forming part of the supposed 
Protestant Reformed Church of England. 

The curious in regard to theatrical memories will look 
with interest at the fishmonger's shop at the corner of 
Marchmont-street, as having been for many years the resi- 
dence of Gattie, the original Morbleu in Monsieur Tonson ; 
and the modern Liberal, who represents the Radical of former 
days, will also view with interest the house in Burton Crescent 
in which Major Cartwright lived for many years, and in 
which he died, in September 1824, in his 84th year. In the 
centre of the enclosure, immediately opposite the door of the 
house, is a bronze statue of this early Reformer, which was 
executed by Mr. Clarke, of Birmingham. The Major was 
valued by his contemporaries for his consistent advocacy of 
Liberal principles during a time when a corrupt political 
party had the ascendency in Church and State ; he was 
tenacious of what he believed to be right, but was with 
difficulty brought to co-operate with others of similar views. 
A man of unyielding principle, he would say, ** I never con- 
cede anything to expediency." In private life he was a 
gentleman in the best sense of the term, and he left the 
world without having put it in the power of any man to say 
that during his long life he ever deviated from the most 
straightforward course. Dr. Cartwright, of Manchester, the 
inventor of the first model of the power-loom (afterwards 
perfected and brought into general use by Mr. Horrocks, of 
Stockport) was brother to Major Cartwright. 

This crescent and the surrounding streets form but a 
portion of the thirty acres held in trust by the Skinners' 
Company on behalf of the schools at Tonbridge, in Kent, 
bequeathed in 1588 by Sir Andrew Judde, who was Lord 
Mayor of London in 1668. Those names have been applied 
to the streets on the estate while Mr. Burton has his 


name commemorated in the crescent and street adjoining. 
Mr. Burton's lease was granted in 1807 for 99 years, at an 
annual ground rent of £2,500, The Crescent and Burton- 
street were designed for a superior class of tenants, but the 
contiguity of another class of tenements and of courts such 
as are still permitted to exist, has tended to change in some 
measure its character. Instead of being tenanted by a class 
of persons who needed the stt^bles erected in the rear of their 
houses for their own horses and vehicles, many of the, houses 
have become lodging-houses, and the stables are rented by 
cab proprietors and others. 

In Burton-street is a small building which has been avail- 
able for various objects since its erection. In 1834 Robert 
Owen lectured in it on Wednesday and Friday evenings, 
propounding his scheme for the regenerationofsociety by the 
abolition of all religions, which he thought stood in the way 
of the social elevation of the masses of the people ! In an 
advertisement in the " Examiner " of that time it was stated, 
" It is well known that the views of Mr. Owen are opposed 
to all our present Institutions, and to almost everything that 
at present exists in society, and he invites all real lovers of 
truth to come forward and oppose him if he is wrong, or sup- 
port him if he is right.'^ After he had done with the building, 
the Jews set up a synagogue here. Then it was converted 
into a Free Church, accommodating nearly 300 persons, the 
expenses being met by the voluntary offerings of the con- 
gregation of St. Pancras Church, and now it belongs to the 
Roman Catholic Church of St. Aloysius, Somers Town, and 
is used as a school and mission house, and for the general 
missionary purposes of that body. 

Henry Hetherington had a stationer's shop, for a few years 
before his death, in Judd- street. A motto was paraded at 
his funeral, stating that '^ He left the world better than he 
found it.*' This might have been true in a political sense, 
for he did something towards removing the "Taxes on 
Knowledge,'' which were considered to be oppressive in his 
day. But in some other respects the claim for well-doing 
could scarcely be maintained. When he had completed the 
term of his apprenticeship to Mr. Luke Hansard, the first 
Parliamentary Printer who bore that name, he was dismissed 
on the same day, objection being taken to his preferring 
talking and debating to working, the latter quality being 
considered by his master to be paramount. Hetherington, 


however, became a master printer, and rendered himself con- 
spicuous by bis publication of " The Poor Man's Guardian/^ 
an unstamped and therefore an illegal newspaper, then. It 
claimed to be the protector of the rights of the poor and the 
oppressed^ socially and politically, as implied by its title. It 
bad a large sale at one time, and no doubt served to expose 
tbe impolicy of restrictive legislation. He was prosecuted 
and suffered imprisonment in 1833, but little commiseration 
was expressed by the legal press at the humiliation he was 
subjected to, in being in a ward in company with felons, and 
being denied the use of books and writing materials. At the 
time, too, he was in ill health, and yet he was not allowed com- 
forts in bedding and clothing which his wife had taken him. 
The tactics of the Chartists (to which party Hetherington was 
attached) of disturbing meetings convened for specific pur- 
poses, was considered to be discreditable by all impartial 
persons. On one such occasion, a meeting "had been called 
at the *^ Crown and Anchor,'^ in the Strand, with the 
Marquis of Londonderry announced as chairman ; but the 
Chartists got possession of the platform, out-voted the 
friends of the Marquis, voting into the chair Henry 
Hetherington, the " true friend of the people." The first 
speaker called upon was a young man, a compositor, who then 
delivered his maiden speech ; he afterwards suffered imprison- 
ment for his intemperate speeches, and ultimately settled 
down as a popular lecturer. The sense of political injustice 
which at that time prevailed amongst the industrial and 
labouring classes was aggravated by the seeming indifference 
of the ruling classes, but it has happily been removed by the 
abolition of many restrictive laws, and there is much less 
occasion now for such leaders as Henry Hetherington. 

Returning to the " Duke's Private Road,'' near to the 
gate, is a private and somewhat secluded turning leading 
to a gateway. On the side of this gate is written " Russell 
House, Bedford House, Tavistock House.'' If a stranger 
were to be seeking the site of the celebrated Bedford 
House, in all probability he would be directed to this 
modern erection. And yet these more modern mansions 
have been rendered interesting from the fact of several noted 
persons having resided in them. Tavistock House was long 
the residence of James Perry, editor of the Morning Chronicle, 
dmring the time of the great success of that paper. After 
his decease, his very valuable collections of literature and art 


were disposed of by public auction. The well-known poetess 
Eliza Cook also lived here when she left Greenhithe, Kent, 
on the death of Alderman Harmer. A still more celebrated 
author resided in Tavistock House, the lamented Charles 
Dickens, when he left Devonshire Terrace. Here he lived in 
the enjoyment of the society of his chosen friends, till his 
retirement to the long-desired house at Gad's Hill. 

Passing the verandahed Maitland Villas, and the bow- 
windowed Wobum Villa, which are pretty and interesting 
residences, opposite Wobum Place, St. Pancras New Church 
claims attention. It was opened for Divine worship in the 
year 1822. The Architect, Mr. William Inwood, designed 
this building after the ancient Temple of Erectheus, at 
Athens, and it is said to be the first place of Christian 
worship erected in this country in the strictly Grecian style. 
At the eastern ^d of the church are two projecting wings, 
one a vestry-room, the other a registry office. The female 
figures, with inverted torches and pitchers in their hands, 
were executed by Mr. Kossi, and were copied from one of the 
figures brought from the Temple at Athens, which figure is 
placed in the Elgin Boom of the British Museum. The 
steeple is from an Athenian model also, the Temple of the 
Wind, built by Pericles. Its elevation is 165 feet from the 
ground. The interior of the church is of much simplicity. 
Between each window there are monuments in memory of 
former inhabitants of the parish, which memorials in most 
instances are marked by chasteness and elegance of design. 
That to Dr. Kitchener is noteworthy, for though he is remem- 
bered principally as the author of the '* Cook's Oracle," he 
possessed many other scientific acquirements, especially was 
he distinguished as a pleasing composer of music. The pulpit 
and reading desk are made of the ancient tree known as the 
Fairlop Oak. The association of ideas are somewhat incon- 
gruous, still the intrinsic value of the wood justifies its 
application, its grain being particularly beautiful, and it 
bears a high polish. 

The planting of plane trees round the lawns on both sides 
of the building was a mark of good taste on the part of the 
previous vicar. The lawns are well kept, and from an artistic 
and natural point of view render this fine church an ornament 
to the neighbourhood. 

In one of the houses (No. 48) in the opposite Euston Square 
lived many years the excellent Dr. James Hamilton, of the 


Scotcli Chnrch, Eegent Square, whose home was the resort of 
a wide circle of deeply attached friends. Next door (No. 49) 
the Rev. Thomas Judkin ended his days. His great popu- 
larity declined with his increasing infirmities. He was known 
as an artist and poet of some merit. 

Turning round into Taviton-street, where hare lived 
some well-known public and professional men and women, at 
the end is Gordon Square, which runs parallel with 1'avistock 
Square. The date (1835) of this and the adjoining Woburn 
and Torrington Squares is denoted on the side of the gates 
which are in the streets leading to them. Certain vehicles 
only are admitted through them at stated times '^ during the 
pleasure of his Grace the Duke of Bedford." 

The most striking object viewed from Torrington Square is 
the unfinished Cathedral in Gordon Square, built by the 
^' Catholic Apostolic Church," which is the outgrowth of the 
followers of Edward Irving. The members of the Church 
so named, however, object to the term " Irvingites," which 
outsiders have agreed m calling them. They date their rise 
from the time of the revived ** study of the prophetic Scrip- 
tures by pious men of all denominations " at Albury, where 
Mr. Hen^ Drummond had invited, amongst many others, 
the Rev. Edward Irving. In one of the recent tracts issued 
by this body of Christians (" Truths for our Days," No.VIII.) 
it is stated that '* Those researches led to the startling con- 
viction that the Church had entered upon the closing scene 
of the Dispensation ; and that the apostasy had commenced 
which is to culminate in Antichrist, the man of sin, 'whom the 
Lord shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.' " 

" It was shown," says the writer of this tract, " that God's 
ways are unchangeable, and that the ministries of Apostles, 
Prophets, Evangelists, and Pastors, given to the Church tt 
the beginning, for her perfecting, must be restored ere that 
perfecting can be completed. Finally, the Lord designated by 
the word of prophecy certain men whom, in His purpose, He 
had set apart, and would send, as Apostles to the Church . . . 
The Lord has been pleased to revive His apostleship, as well 
as the three other original ministries ; and he has done so, 
not that they may stand at the head of a sect, but that they 
may be channels of blessing to His whole Church. The 
churches which the Apostles have been compelled to organise 
are increasing in number. The members thereof worship 
God in the form appointed by Himself, pay Him tithe of 



their increase, and receive His truths the one doctrine com- 
municated by Christ to His Apostles^ and by them to His 
people. Standing in the strength of the anointing given 
them in the laying on of the Apostles^ hands, they wait for 
the coming of the Lord^ to which the Holy Ohost daily bears 
witness in their congregations, that it isjustathandJ^ 

Such are the claims of this " Catholic Apostolic Church." 
The tract refers to '' enemies who have assailed this Church 
publicly and privately; and it has also suffered from the 
rashness and want of wisdom of some who believed in it : 
but Ood prospered it, notwithstanding ; and it has gone on 
increasing to this day." 

On the expiration of the leases of the surrounding houses 
and buildings, no doubt the original idea of a grand Cathe- 
dral will be thoroughly carried out, and, architecturally 
viewed, this square will be rendered remarkable as the chief 
centre of attraction of the '^ Catholic Apostolic Church." 




The interesting historical associations connected with the 
neighbourhood of Eussell Square, though not properly in the 
parish of St. Pancras, are in some measure attaching to the 
district, as Bedford and Montague Houses formed at one time 
its nearest southern boimdary, and the Long Fields then 
included the estates of the Dukes of Bedford and Grafton. 
The boundary line of St. Pancras parish is now clearly defined, 
and the date (1821) is marked on the walls of houses in 
Woburn Place, which it crosses by the gardens of those to 
the south of Tavistock Square. Not many persons are now 
living who can remember the fields with their fencing in the 
Duke's Private Eoad. Fifty years have produced many 
changes, and for the better as respects the gardens of the 
squares in this part of the metropolis, which are exceedingly 
well kept, and contribute to cheer the senses and invigorate 
the bodies of the many toilers who daily pass by them. The 
flower show in Russell Square, and the playing of the Police 
brass band within the enclosure of Tavistock Square in the 
summer time, are evidences of social progress and refined 
taste imknown in the days when " pitched battles" were the 
chosen recreations of ^' the people," on the same spot. 

In the troublous times of Charles I., in the year 1642, 
when the Parliament erected a line of fortified communi- 
cation around London, consisting of a wall of earth-works 
and forts, there were two batteries and a breastwork at the 
back of the gardens of Southampton House, where now is 
Russell Square. There was a redoubt with two flanks near 
St. Giles's Pound, a small fort at the east end of Tyburn 
Road (Oxford- street) ; and a large fort, with four half 
bulwarks across the road at Wardour-street. The line of 



fortifications was continued across Tybourne Brook (long 
since degraded into a sewer), another small bulwark being at 
tbe place called Oliver's Mount, now Mount-street ; a large 
fort with four bulwarks at Hyde Park Corner ; and a small 
redoubt and battery on Constitution Hill ; a court of guard 
at Chelsea Turnpike ; and a battery and breastwork in Tot- 
hill Fields. Crossing the Thames, there was a quadrant fort 
with four half bulwarks at Vauxhall ; a fort with four half 
bulwarks at the Dog and Duck in St. George's Fields ; a 
large fort with four bulwarks near the end of Blackman- 
street ; a redoubt with four flanks near the Lock Hospital in 
Kent-street. Then, recrossing the Thames at Southwark, 
a bulwark and half was on the hill at the north end of 
Gravel-lane ; then a hornwork near the windmill in White- 
chapel Boad ; other redoubts near Brick Lane, Hackney Road 
Shoreditch ; and in Kingsland Road. Then, coming towards 
Islington, at Mountmill there was a battery and breastwork, 
also at St. John's-street end ; a small redoubt near Islington 
Pound, a large fort with four half bulwarks at the New River 
Upper Pond, and a battery and breastwork on the hill near 
Battle Bridge east of Black Mary's Hole, so called from a 
black woman who lived in a hut near it, about 160 years ago ; 
and thus the line of circumvallation at length reached South- 
ampton House, making a perfect circle of fortifications around 
London, 230 years since. A plan of the works is given in 
Harrison's History of London, which was published in 1777, 
copied from an old engraving. The inhabitants of London 
without distinction of rank or sex, engaged in the work of 
defence at the command of the Parliament. From " The 
Perfect Diurnal " of that period we learn that many thousands 
of men, women and servants assisted in the works, as did 
also many members of the Common Council, and other chief 
men of the city, and tha Trained Bands, with spades, shovels, 
and pickaxes. The various trades, also, such as felt makers, 
cappers, shoemakers, and porters, many thousands in number, 
assisted in digging the trenches and raising the defences. 
Butler says in his " Hudibras " that the people — 

**From ladies down to oyster-wenches. 
Laboured like pioneers in trenches.*' 

The women, and even the ladies of rank and fortune, not 
only encouraged the men, but worked with their own hands. 
Lady Middlesex, Lady Foster, Lady Anne Walker, and Mrs. 
Dunch, says Timbs, in his ^' Curiosities of London/' quoting 


from Dr. Dashes Notes/ ''have been particularly celebrated 
for tbeir activity." 

Soutbampton House, above referred to, was the town resi- 
dence of Lord Southampton. Its frontage was towards 
Southampton Square, which was built by his Lordship. His 
House occupied the whole of the north side, and the grounds 
extended as far as what is now Bussell Square. Southampton 
Square is referred to by Evelyn, in 1665, as **a noble square 
or piazza ; a little towne, with good aire." 

Lady Rachel Russell, daughter of Earl Southampton, dated 
her celebrated letters from Southampton House. The firm 
and noble conduct of this lady at the trial of her husband, 
Lord William Russell, when she took notes and gave him 
valuable assistance, deserves the greatest admiration. She 
has described the bitterness of their parting, in the most 
pathetic terms, and her subsequent correspondence is marked 
by a life-long ffrief for his loss. Lord William Russell was 
beheaded in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields on July 21, 1683, and 
Lady Rachel died at Southampton House in September 

In 1720, Strype described the prospect of pleasant fields 
behind the houses and spacious gardens on the north side of 
Great Russell-street as extending as far as Hampstead and 
Highgate, '^ inasmuch as this place is esteemed the most 
healthful in London." 

The parish of St. George Bloomsbury was separated from 
the parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, by the Act of 10 Anne 
c. 11, in the year 1712. 

Southampton eventually became Bloomsbury Square, 
Southampton-street and Southampton Row alone retaining 
their names. Southampton House was changed to Bedford 
House as the residence of Francis Duke of Bedford. 

In the year 1765 there were disturbances and riots among 
the weavers of Spitalfields, occasioned by the great injury 
they had sustained from the importation of foreign silks. 
Early in the spring a great body of them had presented a 
petition to the king, setting forth their grievances, and praying 
relief. In consequence a bill was brought in to promote the 
object they had in view, which passed the House of Commons, 
but was thrown out in the House of Peers. This rejection 
of their appeals greatly irritated the weavers, who met early 
in May in large numbers, and went in procession to St. 


James's Palace, and obtained a promise from the king of all 
the relief in his power. A few days after, about 8,000 of 
them assembled in Moorfiields, and paraded again to St. 
James's, where they renewed their requests, and received a 
favourable answer. Possessed, however, with an opinion that 
the good effect of their petition had been prevented by the 
Duke of Bedford, they went in a very riotous manner to 
Bloomsbury-square, with such threatenings of vengeance, 
that it was thought necessary to send a military force for his 
security. They dispersed for that night, but the next morn- 
ing they assembled again, by beat of drum, in Spitalfields, to 
the number of near 50,000, and then proceeded to West- 
minster. Flags of various colours, and different kinds of 
French manufactures were carried before them by the women ; 
the men wore red cockades with shreds of silks in their hats ; 
and all joined in loading the mercers with the most severe re- 
proaches. The passages to the House of Commons were cleared 
for the members by troops of the Horse and Foot Guards and 
Grenadiers, and on the weavers being informed that necessary 
steps would be taken for their advantage, they dispersed. 
The mercers agreed at a conference at their new Guildhall to 
countermand all their contracts for foreign goods, .and 
instantly to set the journeymen to work. Though thus 
pacified, yet thinking these promises might be delusive, a 
body of them went once more to Bloomsbury-square, where 
they pulled down the posts, and a part of the wall before the 
Duke of Bedford's House. Parties of the horse and foot 
guards were sent there to suppress these outrages ; but the 
mob became so regardless of this armed force that they tore 
up the pavement to supply themselves with stones to pelt 
the soldiers. Many of the latter were cut and wounded, and 
several of the people were trampled on by the horses. The 
houses of some of the silk-mercers were attacked, and win- 
dows broken, and for several days the guards were engaged 
before this disturbance was suppressed, and the assurance 
given of attention to the grievances of the Spitalfields weavers, 
and tranquillity was at last restored. 

Bloomsbury Square will ever be memorable from its as* 
sociation with the "Riots of 1780." Lord Mansfield's house 
at the north-east corner was the especial object of the fury of 
the mob. His Lordship and Lady Mansfield were fortunate 
in making their escape out of the house ; but the rioters, 
having taken out the furniture and books, set fixe to them in 


tlie square^ aud also fired the house. The library thus des- 
troyed was one of the most valuable then known, especially 
in legal works^ which were enriched with the notes of his 
lordship — ^the labour of his life — and impossible to be replaced. 
This senseless and wicked act was done while troops of 
soldiers were encamped in the gardens of Montague House 
close at hand. 

Many eminent men once lived in this square, which the 
Gh*and Duke Cosmo was taken to see as one of the wonders 
of England. Bichard Baxter lived here at the time of his 
persecution by Judge Jefferies. Sir Hans Sloane, the founder 
of the British Museum, lived on the south side, where he was 
visited by Dr. Franklin to see his curiosities. Here also 
lived Akenside, the author of " the Pleasures of the Imagina- 
tion," and Sir Richard Steele, Dr. Radcliffe, Lord EUen- 
borough, and Isaac Disraeli, the father of the Right honourable 
Benjamin Disraeli, were also residents in this square. 

Many of the houses have been rebuilt within the last few 
years, as the leases have fallen in. Two houses have been 
built on the site of that which was last occupied by the 
Homoeopathic Hospital (which then retained its painted 
ceiling and staircase), on the south-east side, while that on the 
west still remains as a memorial of the past. The fine old 
spreading plane trees on that side are objects of interest, and 
are sure to claim the interest of strangers. 

Adjoining the gardens of Southampton House were those 
of Montague House, which Evelyn describes in 1679, as 
" Mr. Mountague's new palace neere Bloomsbery, built some- 
what after the French pavilion way," with ceilings painted 
by Verrio. It was burnt to the ground, through the care- 
lessness of a servant *' airing some goods by the fire," on 
January 19, 1686. It was then occupied by the Earl of 
Devonshire. Lady Rachel Russell, in one of her letters, 
describes the sparks and flames covering Southampton House, 
and filling the court. The loss was stated at £40,000, be- 
sides which Lord Devonshire's pictures, and plate of the 
value of £6,000, and furniture were destroyed. The mansion 
was rebuilt by Peter Paget, on the plan of a first-class French 
hotel, of red brick, with stone dressings, lofty domed centre, 
and pavilion-like wings. There was a spacious court-yard 
in front, enclosed with a high wall, within which was an 
Ionic colonnade. Old engravings have preserved to us its 
picturesque octangular lantern, with clock and cupola on the 



principal entrance gate, and at each extremity of the front 
wall the square lanterns : and so it appeared K)r many years 
after it became the British Museum. That mansion was 
displaced by degrees, from the year 1845, and was at length 
entirely removed in 1852. By the powers of an Act of Par- 
liament (26th of George II), Montague House was purchased, 
in 1753, of Lord Halifax for £10,250, and £12,873 were paid 
for its repair. The sum of £100,000 was raised for the pur- 
pose by lottery (a very common means formerly for meeting 
the expenditure of the State). To Sir Hans Sloane is due 
the origin of what has become our magnificent British 
Museum, by the offer of his collection to parliament for 
£20,000, though it cost him £50,000. The Museum was 
first opened to the public on the I5th January 1759. 
. The fields behind Bedford House were originally called the 
Long Fields ; but in Strype's time were known as Southamp- 
ton Fields. They were the resort, up to 1800, of a depraved 
olass of the population who there fought pitched battles. 

A legend of the period of the Duke of Monmouth's rebel- 
lion (1685) records that a mortal duel was fought in these 
fields by two brothers on account of a lady, who looked on ; 
they fought so desperately as to destroy each other. Their 
footsteps were said to be imprinted so indelibly in the ground 
as to remain ; and no grass grew over those forty footsteps. 
The story furnished the Misses Porter with the foundation of 
a novel called " Coming Out ; or the Field of the Forty 
Footsteps.^' A Melodrama was also produced on the same 
subject at what was then called the Tottenham-street (now 
the Prince of Wales') Theatre. It would scarcely be ex- 
pected that a grave historian like Dr. Southey should have 
seriously entertained such a story; but he relates in his 
*^ Commonplace Book " (second series, p. 21) a visit he made to 
the spot. He says, ** We sought for near half an hour in 
vain. We could find no steps at all within a quarter of a 
mile, no, nor half a mile of Montague House. We were 
almost out of hope, when an honest man, who was at work, 
directed us to the next ground, adjoining to a pond. There 
we found what we sought, about three quarters of a mile 
north of Montague House, and 500 yards east of Tottenham 
Court Road (between Tavistock Square and Woburn 
Square.) The steps are of- the size of a large human foot, 
about three inches deep, and lie nearly from north-east to 
§outh-w©st. We counted only seventy-six : but we were not 


exact in counting. Tho place where one or both of the 
brothers arc supposed to have fallen is still bare of grass. 
The labourer also showed us the bank where (the tradition 
is) the wretched woman sat to see the combat.'* Dr. Southey 
complied with the wish of a friend ** to take a view of those 
wonderful marks of the Lord's hatred to duelling, called the 
Brothers' Steps/' and having thus seen and described the 
spot, he adds his full confidence in the tradition of the indes- 
tructibility of the steps, even after ploughing up, and of the 
conclusions to be drawn from the circumstance. 

Another authority, Joseph Moser, in one of his Common- 
place Books gives this account of the footstepB, just previous 
to their being built over. " June 16, 1800. Went into tho 
fields at the back of Montague House, and there saw, for the 
last time, tho forty footsteps. The building materials are 
there, ready to cover them from the sight of man. I counted 
more than forty, but they miirht be the footprints of the 

When Moser saw the spot in 1800 the Long Fields as they 
were once called lay waste and useless. Northwards were 
nursery grounds ; the Toxophilite Society's grounds were 
north-west, and Bedford House with its lawns and magnifi- 
cent lime-trees, to the south. At the north-east end of 
Upper Montague-street was the Field of Forty Footsteps, 
and at the east side of the square was Bolton House. 

Bedford House, and its pleasant lawns and garden, like 
the forty footsteps, have long since disappeared; but the 
curious enquirer may trace their whereabouts. Bedford 
Place is about the centre of where the house and grounds 
were, and the distance from the statue of Charles James Fox 
in Bloomsbury Square to that of Francis Duke of Bedford in 
Bussell Square will give an idea of their extent. It occupied, 
like Montague House, about seven acres. The fine statue of 
the Duke by Westmaoott, in Bussell Square, was erected in 




From Bussell-square^ south-westward, adjoining St. Giles's- 
in-the-Fields, is the commencement of the ancient manor of 
ToTHBLE, OP Tottenham Court. The land is described in 
Domesday Book as being then (800 years ago) " of four 
caracutes, but only seven parts in eight are cultivated;" 
it was but a rougli estimate, however. The extent of the 
land which could be cultivated by means of one plough, 
which is explained as the measure of our forefathers' calcu- 
lation called a caracute, would depend upon the machine 
itself as well as upon the capacity of the ploughman. A 
considerable portion of this land, too, was covered by forest. 
When surveyed by the Conunon wealth Commissioners, about 
600 years auer the period when the first William made his 
inventory, it was found to consist of about 240 acres. The 
Conqueror ascertained that in this manor ** there are four 
villeins and four cottars; wood and keep for 150 hogs, and 
about forty shillings per annum from the sale of herbage. 
Rental, £4." Two hundred years afterwards, in the first 
Edward's reign, the rent had been increased to £5, Neither 
the landowner nor the cottar could have possessed much 
money wealth then^ and each cottar may have experienced 
some difficulty in paying what now seems but an insig- 
nificant rent for his cottage and land, seeing that he had to 
supply the lord of the manor's table with a certain quantity 
of eggs, butter, poultry, &c. The forty shillings from the 
sale of herbage might not have included that of wheat and 


other grain. At that time wheat produced the sum of two 
shillings only per quarter ; eggs were valued at twenty for a 
penny ; a cow and a calf, nine or ten shillings ; a lamb ten 
pence ; a fat sheep, seventeen pence ; and a hog, which is 
the only stock eniimerated, the sum of five shillings ; the 
annual produce, therefore, seeing that but seven parts in 
eight were cultivated, was then but of very small amount. 
The social condition of the four villeins was that of entire 
dependence on the will of their owners, and they were liable 
to be removed or disposed of like any of the hogs upon the 

The manor was originally prebendal to St. Paul's Cathedral 
and there is in existence a record of the prebendary, in 1343, 
consummating the lease with John De Caleton, who in the 
same year held a court-baron as lessee. In 1590, a lease for 
99 years of the manor and palace was demised to Queen 
Elizabeth, and in 1639 a lease was granted to Charles I. In 
1649, and during the Commonwealth, it was taken as Crown 
land, and sold to Ralph Harrison, for £3,318 3s. lid. At 
the Restoration, in 1660, it again reverted to the Crown, 
but the next year it was surrendered by the profligate holder, 
Charles II., for a debt to Sir H. Wood. The lease next be- 
came the property of Isabella Countess of Arlington, from 
whom it was inherited by her son Charles Duke of Grafton. 
In 1768, the lease became vested in the Hon. Charles Fitz- 
roy (afterwards Lord Southampton). The manner in which 
this church property was at that time surrendered will ever 
be regarded as discreditable to all parties concerned. In 
1837, the **Morning Chronicle" made public the following par- 
ticulars of the transaction, which is here copied from William 
Hewitt's " Northern Heights." There may be errors of de- 
tail in the statement, as in regard to the extent of the manor, 
the " thousands of acres " being about 240 only, as before 
stated ; but the main fact is too true. 

"In the year 1768, the Duke of Grafton was Prime 
Minister. His brother, Mr. Fitzroy, was lessee of the manor 
and lordship of Tottenhall, the property of the Dean and 
Chapter of St. Paul's, London. Dr. Richard Brown, the then 
prebendary of the stall of Tottenhall, having pocketed the 
emolument attending the renewal of the lease, and there 
being little chance oi any further advantages to him from 
the • estate, readily listened to a proposal of Mr. Fitzroy 
for the purchase of the estate. The thing was agreed, and 


the Duke of Qraf ton, with his great standing majority, quickly 
passed an Act through Parliament, in March 1768^ diverting 
the estate, with all its rights, privileges and emoluments from 
the prebend, and conveyed the fee-simple entire and without 
reserve, to Mr. Charles Fitzroy and his heirs for ever. The 
Act states it to be with the consent of Bichard Lord Bishop 
of London, and the privitv of the Dean and Chapter of St. 

^' Now what was, and where lay this estate, so readily de- 
tached from the Ohurch? It commences at St. GUles's parish, 
extends some distance on the north side of Oxford-street, 
and in other directions embraces a large part of St. Pancras 
parish, Camden Town, and up to Highgate, including copses, 
woods, and grounds lying beside Highgate of great extent ; 
and from its situation equal in value to any land round the 
metropolis. Yery considerable buildings were at that time 
erected upon it, the ground was in great request for building 
on, and could thus be disposed of in leases at a considerable 
rate jperfoot, Mr. Fitzroy immediately settled £400 a year 
on Mrs. Fitzroy, secured on only twenty-three acres of this 
land, the estate consisting of some thousands of acres. Any 
one knowing the extent and situation of the property, now 
that a vast town of more than three miles in length exists 
upon it, must be aware of the astounding value of it at 

" The full equivalent and compensation given to the Church 
for this princely estate was a rentcharge on it of £300 per 
annum, which, as £46 of it was receivable under the lease, 
makes the amount given for the fee-simple £254 per annum ! 
The estate being thus secured, on the strength of it Mr. 
Fitzroy was raised to the peerage in 1780 by the title of 
Lord Southampton, by which name the estate is now known. 
Tottenhall is kept out of view, and this Church plunder is 
probably all the title possesses." 

The writer added, that at that time^ on a moderate cal- 
culation, the Southampton family had received a million 
and a half sterling from the estate, the full equivalent paid 
being then onlv £17,784. He estimated also that in the 
Library of Lambeth Palace a set of Parliamentary surveys of 
Church land record many similar transactions. 0, noble con- 
servators of the **Poor Man's Church," is the comment of 
William Hewitt. 

Sixty years before the Bishop of London had thus im- 


providently disposed of this property of the Church, its 
character and condition then may be learnt from an ad- 
vertisement which appeared in the " Postman " for December 
30, 1708. It may be reasonably concluded that if a seventy- 
acre farm was to be seen at so short a distance as a mile 
from London, the general character was that of an agricul- 
tural and rural district. 

" At Tottenham Court, near St. Giles's, and within less 
than a mile of London, a very good Farm House, with out- 
houses, and above seventy acres of extraordinary good pas- 
tures and meadows, with all conveniences proper for a cow- 
man , are to be let| together or in parcels, and there is dung 
ready to lay on. Enquire further at Mr. Bolton's, at the 
sign of the ** Crown," in Tottenham Court aforesaid, or at 
Landon's Coffee-house, over against Somerset House, Strand." 

Tottenham Court Road was a favourite resort of Lon- 
doners long before that time, as it led to the Old Manor 
House. We have a picture of its state in George Wither's 
**Brittain's Remembrancer," published in 1628, which no 
doubt gives a correct description of the manner in which the 
people then "took their pleasures." 

*' Which way soever from our Gates I went 
I lately did behold with much content, 
The fields bestrew'd with people all about ; 
Some paceing homeward and some passing out; 
Some by the bancks of Thame their pleasure taking, 
Some Sullibibs among milk-maids making; 
With musique some upon the waters rowing; 
Some to the next adjoining Hamlets going, 
And Hogsdone, Islington, and Tothnam Court, 
For cakes and creame, had then no small resort." 

In 1730, *' Tothnam Court " continued to be a favourite 
rural resort of the inhabitants of the north west of the 
metropolis. It was a country road, with hawthorn hedges, 
and on each side were "good pastures^' and pleasant 
meadows ; but even then its rural simplicity had become 
alloyed periodically ; hence the attempt to repress disorders 
which occasionally took place, as shown in what follows. 

In the year 1727, the magistrates of Middlesex, assembled 
in quarter sessions at Hicks-Hall in St. John-street, were 
" informed that several common players of interludes have 
for several years used and accustomed to assemble and meet 
together at or near a certain place called Tottenhoe, alias 
Tottenhall, aUas Tottenham Court, in the parish of St. 


Pancras^ and to erect booths^ and to exhibit and act drolls, 
and use and exercise unlawful games and plays^ whereby- 
great numbers of his Majesty's subjects have been encouraged 
to assemble and meet together^ and to conunit riots and other 
misdemeanors, in breach of his Majesty's peace, and to the^dis- 
turbance of the neighbourhood of that place." The magis- 
trates therefore issued their proclamation that all such mis- 
chiefs and disorders were a violation of the law, and all such 
players were deemed and declared " rogues and vagabonds," 
and the ^^ acting of such plays and drolls, and the keeping of 
public gaming tables are contrary to the laws and statutes 
of this realm, and do manifestly and directly tend to the 
encouragement of vice and immorality, and to the ruining of 
servants, apprentices, and others, as well as to the disturbance 
of the public peace, by occasioning quarrels, riots and tumults, 
&c., whereby it will be very difficult for the justices, &c. (if 
such practices are permitted) to preserve the public peace, or 
to prevent or punish such misdemeanors as may be committed 
by such numbers of evil-disposed persons as do usually meet 
at such places and on such occasions/' The high and petty 
constables and all other officers were required to apprehend all 
offenders, and bring them before one or more of his Majesty's 
justices of the peace, to the end that they may be punished." 
The fair in " Tottenhoe '' was held, however, in the August 
of 1727, and in the same month for several years afterwards. 
The " Craftsman " newspaper for August 25 of that year, 
in commenting upon the neglect of the authorities to enforce 
their " Solemn Order," states that " this Fair not only tends 
to the encouragement of vice and immorality, but even to 
sedition and disloyalty." *^ These vagabonds had the impu- 
dence to afiront the government and administration ; for there 
were two jack-puddings entertaining the populace from a 
gallery on the outside of one of the booths, one representing 
an Englishman and the other a Spaniard." Jack Spaniard 
had the audacity to knock down the Englishman. This 
had reference to a recent war with Spain, in which nothing 
decisive was achieved by either nation. The Pretender, not 
long before too^ had been assisted by Spain in an attempted 
invasion of England. The newspaper scribe^ therefore 
wrote, "1 was shocked at such an insolent ridicule of our 
brave countrymen, and expected to see the scandalous buffoons 
taken into custody, but I don't hear that any examples have 
yet been made of them." It was ^'yery d^cult" to pre- 


serve tlie peace in those days ; the inefficient police rendered 
detection and capture, even in cases of crime, often impossible, 
but in such a matter as interference with the amusements of 
the people on the occasion of a holiday, when the upper 
classes themselves supported similar sports, was resented by 
those who were thus interfered with, and the Fair was con- 
tinued for many years. 

Advertisements in the newspapers gave evidence of the 
depraved character of the amusements at this Fair subse- 
quently. In 1739, it was announced that at " the Great 
Booth at Tottenham Court, there will be an extraordinary 
Trial of Manhood between John Broughton, of St. James's 
Market, and George Stephenson^ Coachman to a Nobleman, 
for One hundred Pounds. N.B. Gentlemen are desired to 
come early ; large sums are depending, and the combatants 
are obliged to mount exactly at eleven o'clock.'' 

In January of the same year, and in the same booth, there 
had been a contest between "Stephenson the Coachman and 
Taylor the Barber ; there was a prodigious crowded House of 
Nobility and Gentry, at five shillings a ticket ; " the account 
which then follows is a description of such particulars as would 
make a person of any sensitiveness shudder. The Barber 
beat his antagonist in eleven minutes. *' There were vast 
sums of money lost on this match. A Noble Lord took a bet 
of 300 guineas to 200 that the Barber would beat the Coach- 
man. During the battle, part of the benches fell down, 
several [persons] were hurt, and a man had his thigh broke.'' 
This was on January 6, 1739. 

The performances at " Eeynolds's Great Theatrical Booth 
in Tottenham Court, during the time of the Fair," on August 
1730, of a "Comical-Tragical-Fareical Droll, called The Rum 
Duke and the Queer Duke, or a medley of mirth and sorrow," 
would be innocence itself compared with the brutalising 
exhibitions tolerated then and even fostered by the wealthy 
classes. In 1748, Daniel French's* Amphitheatre attracted 
the lovers of cudgel-playing, wrestling and other athletic 
sports. James Figg exhibited his ** science " here, and 
afterwards founded what was called the " Boarded House " 
in the Marylebone Fields, in which he was patronised by 
members of the aristocracy. Bear-baiting, tiger-baiting, and 
bull-fighting were provided by Figg for his noble patrons, 
and occasionally the sport was varied by the '^uncommon per- 
formance " of female boxers j Besides the newspaper, such 


as the Daily Advertiser, in which it was found to be to the 
interest of the proprietors to advertise and report notices of 
"The Ring," addressed to "Noblemen and Gentlemen," 
there was the literature of the noble art of " self-defence,'* 
Boxianay to which the curious in the matter may refer. It 
will be found that Broughton the Bruiser, who resented the 
insult of any one who dared to impeach his manhood, and 
who "flattered himself that his again entering the lists 
would only furnish him with an opportunity to 'add one 
more wreath to that trophy which, during the space of twenty- 
four years, he had been raising by an uninterrupted course of 
victories,*' found to his cost that " Slack the Butcher " took 
away from him the palm, and also £600. This was decided 
on 11th November 1749. It was stated in the "Daily 
Advertiser" of the following day, that the "betting was 
enormous at the Amphitheatre, many of the amateur visitors 
being persons of high rank." 

The attention of Parliament was shortly after that time 
directed to the injurious character of these exhibitions, and 
prize fighting was numbered with the forbidden amusements 
of the people. Oxford Eoad then became Oxford-street, with 
lines of houses and shops, and Tottenham Court Eoad soon 
followed the example in that respect. 

In 1780 the Earl of Sandwich suggested the building a 
Theatre in Tottenham Court Boad. Francis Pasqualis built 
it, and it received the name of the King's Concert Rooms, 
and was for some years visited by royalty. In 1792, it is 
stated in a newspaper of the day, that " The Ancient Concert 
in Tottenham-street was honoured by their Majesties and the 
elder princesses. The selection was made bv Lord Exeter^ 
and consisted, as usual, of compositions by Handel, and 
others. Master "Walch was added to the vocal corps. Kelly, 
Ifeill, Miss Pool, and Miss Pache, were the other vocal per- 
formersi and they all acquitted themselves with their cus- 
tomary ability. The whole was as usual forcible and earnest, 
particularly the choruses.'* 

Many changes were seen in this theatre : its name was 
altered according to altered circumstances and character. In 
1808, it was known as " The Amphitheatre,** when Master 
Saunders devoted it to Equestrianism. Afterwards it de- 
generated into *' The Tottenham-street Theatre.*' In 1823, 
when a French company were engaged, it was called " The 
West London Theatre.*^ Afterwards it became " The New 


Royal West London ; " and when under the management of 
Mrs. Nesbitt, in 1835, it assumed farther and more distinct 
royal airs, by becoming the Queen's Theatre, the royal 
patronage assumed being that of Queen Adelaide. Tliough 
known generally as the Tottenham Street Theatre, it has of 
late years been styled The Prince of Wales's Royal Theatre, 
and has been frequently honoured by the presence of His 
Royal Highness. The management is unexceptionable, and 
the performance of the comedies of the late T. W. Robertson 
and others, mark a refined taste in the frequenters of this 
well-ordered place of recreation. 

Parton, in his History of St. Giles's Hospital and Parish, 
refers to Totten Hall, or as sometimes spelt, ** Totnam Hall," 
as being probably anciently included in St. Giles's Hospital 
Parish, as well as a considerable part of the prebend of 
Totten Hall. The mansion (or at least its then supposed 
owner, William de Tottenhall) is mentioned as early as the 
reign of Henry III. as at that time of eminence, and 
probably the court house of the manor. When it became 
appropriated as an inn or house of entertainment seems doubt- 
ful, but it must have been ** ages later,'^ as, Parton says it is not 
noticed in that character in the parish books till 1644 and 
1645, when the following entries of fines for drinking there 
occur : " 1644 — Rec^ of three poore men, for drinking on 
the Sabbath daie at Tottenham-court — 4s." '* 1645 — Reed 
of Mr. Bringhurst, constable, which he had of Mrs. Stacye's 
maid and others, for drinking at Tottenhall Court on the 
Sabbath daie, xij^- a piece — Ss/' Parton thinks that if a 
judgment may be formed from entries of similar fines, it was 
a place of much resort on Sundays for drinking, "at this 
period, and from thence to the Restoration." He adds, ** Part 
of this ancient mansion is still occupied as a public-house, 
called The Adam and Eve." 

The severe laws enacted in the time of the Commonwealth 
for the keeping of the Sabbath, no doubt account for the 
above entries ; George Wither's notice of '* Tothnam Court" 
as a place of public resort twenty years previously mentions 
only '* cakes and creame.'' 

William Hone, in his " Year Book," published in 1832, 
describes the " Adam and Eve," which is the site of the Old 
Manor House of Tottenhall, in the Hampstead Road, — within 
his recollection, as having been '* a house standing alone, 
with spacious gardens in tlie re^r md ^t the $ides, andafore- 


court with large timber trees, and tables and benches for out- 
of-door customers. In the gardens were fruit trees^ and 
bowers, and arbours, for tea-drinking parties. In the rear 
there were not any houses ; now there is a town. At that 
time the ' Adam and Eve Tea Gardens ^ were resorted to by 
thousands, as the end of a short walk into the country ; and 
the trees were allowed to grow and expand naturally, un- 
restricted by art or fashion, which then were unknown to 
many such places as this, and others in the vicinage of 
London. At that time, too, there was only one Faddington 
stage. It was driven by the proprietor, or, rather, tediously 
dragged, along the clayey road, from Paddington to the City, 
in the morning, and performed its journey in about two hours 
and a half, * quick time,' It returned to Paddington in the 
evening, within three hours from its leaving the City ; this 
was deemed 'fair time,' considering the necessity for precau- 
tion against the accidents of * nigh^ travelling.' " 

Mr. Hone added : '* The Adam and Eve is now denomi- 
nated a coflfee-house, and that part which has been built of 
late years, and fronts the Paddington New Road, with the 
sign-board at the top comer, is used for tavern purposes, and 
connects with the older part of the building ; the entrance 
to which is through the gateway with the oil lamp over it, in 
the Hampstead Road." A correspondent reminded Mr. Hone 
that the engraving he had given in the Table Book of the 
Adam and Eve, represented it as it stood previous to 1825, 
about which time a "smart baker's shop" was erected, 
" which now occupies the corner." For many years after 
that time the corner was a pastrycook's shop, the " tavern 
purposes " being carried on in the background ; but now the 
splendid gilt and glare of a modern gin-palace has come to 
the front. The primitive **Adam and Eve/' on the site of the 
old Manor House of Totten Hall, has nought left but the 
name ; and the extent of the gardens, in which were " fruit 
trees and bowers " is represented by " Eden " Street, with its 
Chapel for Methodist Reformers. 

William Hone's reminiscences called forth others. One 
correspondent thus writes to him : " Your brief notice of the 
Adam and Eve, Hampstead Road, has awakened many a 
pleasant reminiscence of a suburb which was the frequent 
haunt of my boyish days, and the scene of some of the 
happiest hours of my existence^ at a more mature age. . . Few 
places afford more scope for pleasant writing ... I am almost 


afraid to own that Marylebone Park liolds a dearer place in 
my affeotions than its more splendid, but lees rural^ successor 
(RegenVs Park). When, too, I remember the lowly, but 
picturesque, old Queen's Head and Artichoke, with its 
long skittle and bumble-puppy grounds ; and the Jew's Harp 
with its bowery tea gardens, I have little pleasure in the 
sight of the gm-shop-looking places which now bear the 
names. IN^either does the new Haymarket compensate me 
for the fields in which I made my earliest studies of cattle, 
and once received from the sculptor NoUekens an approving 
word and pat on the head, as he returned from his customary 
morning walk. 

" Coming more eastward, I remember the * Long Fields ' 
with regret ; and Somers Town, isolated and sunny as it was, 
when I first haunted it, is now little better than another arm 
of the great Briareus, dingy with smoke, and deprived, almost 
wholly, of the gardens and fields. The Hampstead Eoad, 
and the once beautiful fields leading to and surrounding 
Chalk Farm,have not escaped the profanations of the builder's 
craft ; and Hampstead itself, ' the region of all suburban 
ruralities ' has had a vital blow aimed at its noble Heath, and 
lovely ' Vale of Health.' (Did the resemblance of the scenery, 
in a certain sense, to that of Tunbridge Wells, never occur 
to you P)'' 

He thus concludes : *^ Your paper in the Year Book led 
me into a chat, the other evening, with a very dear and 
venerable connexion of my own, who remembers when the 
^ New Eoad ' was not, and when the last house in Tottenham 
Court Boad was the public-house in the corner, by Whitfield's 
Chapel. By the way, I, myself, remember the destruction of 
a tree which once shadowed the skittle-ground and roadside 
of the same house. It was cut down and converted into fire- 
wood by a man who kept a coal shed hard by. My relation, 
before referred to, also remembers when Bathbone-place 
terminated at the comer of Percy-street ; when the wind- 
mill which gave its cognomen to the street of that name still 
maintaiited this position ; and when large soil-pits occupied 
the site where, I think, Charlotte-street and its neighbouring 
thoroughfares now stand. A fact which he related, connected 
with this spot, may be worth repeating. A poor creature, a 
sailor I believe, was found dead, and denied burial by the 
parish, on the ground, I infer, of a want of legal settlement. 
The body was placed in a coffin, and carried about the streets 



in that condition, by persons who solicited alms to defray the 
expense of the funeral. Something considerable is supposed 
to have been thus collected ; but the body was thrown into 
one of these pits, and the money applied to other purposes. 
After a time the corpse, of course, floated, and the atrocity 
was discovered ; but the perpetrators were not to be found. 
My informant himself saw the procession, and, subsequently, 
the fragments of the coffin lying on the surface of the water. 
I will only add, that he recollects to have seen Sixteen-string 
Jack taken to Tyburn, and that he also recollects going to 
see the celebrated Ned Shuter at a low pot-house in St. 
Giles's, at six in the morning, where, upon quitting the 
theatre, he had adjourned to exhibit his extraordinary powers 
to a motley crew of midnight revellers, consisting chiefly of 
highwaymen, carmen, sweeps, et id genus omne" 

Hone says, ** Contiguous to the Adam and Eve, and near 
the reservoir of the New River Company, in the Hampstead 
Boad, there was lately standing an ancient house, called, in 
various old records. King John's Palace." Long after the 
year 1832, a few houses in the New Road were called Palace 
Row, but all is now changed, and Euston Road is the only 
name by which this ancient spot is now known. The reser- 
voir, too, has disappeared, on the site of which is now 
Tolmer's Square, which has passed through some strange 
mutations since the time when King John might have had 
a Palace near this spot. A legend is told that here during 
the great Plague was one of the burial-places. As the 
plague broke out and made fearful ravages in St. Giles's, on 
one of the many fearful visitations, it is thought probable 
that pits may have been dug, and were thus consecrated by 
the interment therein of the bodies of many of the suflerers. 
There is, however, no record of the fact. If the directors of 
the New River Company had believed it to be true, they 
would scarcely have selected such a spot for the immense 
basin or reservoir for the water supply of the inhabitants of 
Tottenham Court Road and Marylebone, at the beginning of 
the present century. The more probable statement, how- 
ever, is, that after the fire of London, which destroyed also 
some of the causes of those dreadful visitations of plague, the 
debris from the buildings thus destroyed were deposited here, 
and helped to make this great basin. The supply of water 
at Islington was not sufficiently elevated to reach this part of 
London, and hence the construction of the reservoir. It was 


several years in the course of erection, and was said, in the 
'* Picture of London " for 1805 to be then " an object worth 
notice, and may be seen at any time, by giving the workmen 
a trifle for showing it." For nearly half a century it answered 
its intended object, and presented its grassy surface to the 
gaze of the passer-by ; in later times children were permitted 
to make it a play-round. When Bishop Blomfield promoted 
the first public baths and wash-houses, in George-street, some 
thirty years since, the New River Company supplied the 
water from this reservoir ; but ultimately other and more 
efBcient provision rendered this means unnecessary, and the 
baths and wash-houses were along with it rased to the ground. 
Modern shops have now superseded the blank wall ; and there 
is presented the novel appearance of a Church steeple to a 
Congregational chapel which is built in the centre of the site 
where the natural water was aforetime stored, and where now 
attention is called to the '* living water " which by the Gospel 
is offered freely to all. 

Tolmer's Square Chapel was built for the congregation 
formerly worshipping in Albany Chapel, when the Rev. 
Professor Guthrie was for some years their minister. Since 
his resignation and return to Scotland, many ministers have 
occupied the pulpit, but none were able to attract but a very 
moderate congregation as to numbers. In May 1873, the 
Rev. Arthur Hall, of Tottenham, commenced his ministry 
here. At the opening services, his brother, the Rev. Newman 
Hall, preached on two occasions. The new minister possesses 
qualifications calculated to awaken interest in the people. 
His agreeable style and earnest manner remind his hearers 
of his brother, and there is every appearance of increasing 
prosperity in numbers and in usefulness. 




It is not tlie object of tliese Notes to discuss controversial 
points, either political or religious ; but in noting tbe changes 
which have taken place in the parish, some of the buildings 
which now cover the greater part of it are significant of the 
progress of certain opinions and principles. It is admitted 
by all parties that the great tevival of religion more than 
130 years ago, by means of what was at first in derision called 
Methodism, has left a permanent and increasing influence on 
all other churches, and has conferred indirect benefits on society 
generally. The Rev. George Whitefield himself describes 
the effect of his first preaching in London. *^ For nearly 
three months successively there was no end of people's flock- 
ing to hear the word of God. Thousands went away from 
the largest churches for want of room. I now preached 
generally nine times a week. The people were all attention, 
as hearing for etemitv. The 6arly sacraments were ex- 
ceedingly awful. Oh| how often at Cripplegate, St. Anne's, 
and St. Yedast, Foster-lane, have we seen Jesus Christ 
evidently set forth before us ! On Sunday mornings, long 
before day, you might see streets flUed with people going to 
church with their lanthorns in their hands ; and hear them 
conversing about the things of God." 

The followers of Wesley and Whitefield assembled also 
regularly at the Moravian Chapel in Fetter-lane. The 
Society of Methodists was formed at that chapel in May 
1738, when they met there for a period. 

Wherever Wesley and Whitefield turned their steps, 
crowds listened to them with eagerness. It is related that 
scenes second only to those recorded in the Acts of the 


Apostles were daily witnessed. Many of the clergy and 
ecclesiastical religionists^ however, resorted to acts of 
direct opposition; and the pulpits of the Established 
Ohurch were closed against these earnest evangelists. Even 
the excellent Dr. Doddridge expressed himself somewhat 
cautiously concerning Whitefield. On April 27th, 1739, 
Whitefield finding the doors of IsKngton Church, where he had 
repeatedly ministered, closed against him, mounted a tomb- 
stone, and therefrom addressed the assembled multitude. He 
had preached with great results in the open air, in the 
previous January to the colliers at Kingswood. No church 
in Bristol could contain one-half the people desirous of listen- 
ing to his eloquent and pathetic entreaties ; he often with 
tears was beseeching the people to listen to the voice from 
Heaven. Contrary to the advice of his friends, however, he 
continued to address the multitudes wherever they were 
assembled, or wherever they flocked to hear him preach. 

Exclusion from the pulpits of the Established Church led 
Wesley (though he always avowed himself a Churchman) to 
introduce amongst his followers a system of rules or church 
polity which has been the means of preserving them as a 
separate body, rearing ** Wesleyan" chapels in every town 
and village in the United Kingdom, and sending missionaries 
to various parts of the world with their distinctive principles 
and practices ; but Whitefield's motives were of a different 
character. He did not aim at the founding of a sect, nor to 
" set up societies in opposition to the public worship by law 
established ; but only in imitation of the primitive Christians, 
who continued daily with one accord in the Temple," as he 
recorded in hi^ private journal of Jan. 15, 1760. He was 
especially a preacher of the Gospel. He writes in his journal 
of Friday June 1, of the same year : "Dined at Old Ford ; 
gave a short address to a few people in the field, and preached 
m the evening at a place called May Fair, near Hyde Park. 
The congregation consisted, I believe, of nearly 10,000 people, 
and was by far the largest I ever preached to yet. During 
the time of prayer there was a little noise, but they kept 
silent the whole of the discourse. A high and very com- 
modious scaffold was erected for me to stand upon, and 
though I was weak in myself, God strengthened me to speak ' 
so loud that all could hear, and so powerful, that most, I 
believe, could feel." 

For several years when in England Whitefield preached 


in Moorfields^ where a fair was held at Whitsuntide ; also on 
Kennington Common^ and at Tottenham Court Fair; the 
necessity for such a course arose out of the opposition from 
the clergy, and from the general laxity and open immorality 
of all classes. Bishop Home thus describes the condition of 
things in 1750, in a sermon preached before the University 
of Oxford in that year : — " As to faith, is not the doctrine 
of the Trinity, and that of the Divinity of our Lord and 
Saviour — without which our redemption is absolutely void, 
and we are yet in our sins, lying under the intolerable burden 
of the wrath of God— blasphemed and ridiculed openly in 
conversation and in print P And as to righteousness of life, 
are not the people of this land dead in trespasses and sins ? 
Idleness, drunkenness, luxury, extravagance, and debauchery 
-—for these things cometh the wrath of God, and distempered 
nature proclaims the impending distress and perplexity of 

In that same year there were two shocks of an earthquake 
in the metropolis, by which several houses were much shaken, 
and some chimneys thrown down. A half-cra2y life-guards- 
man predicted a third and more fatal shock on the night of 
April 5th, by which London and its inhabitants woiJd be 
destroyed. Such was the popular credulity, that few went 
to bed that night ; vast numbers went into the fields, or 
embarked in boats on the river, while others ran about the 
streets in a frantic state, apprehending that the day of judg- 
ment was at hand. Those who possessed carriages and horses 
drove to neighbouring towns and villages, where they passed 
the night in the open air. The inns and lodging houses were 
filled, and the roads thronged as far as Windsor. This, again, 
was Whitefield^s opportunity. He went forth at midnight 
to Hyde Park, where he called the attention of the assembled 
thousands to the day of final account, proclaiming that there 
is a Saviour, Christ the Lord, but who, if they reject him 
now, will then be their Judge. The morning arose, and the 
sun shone forth : and the soldier prophet proved to be but a 
false one. For a time ^^ vice had been checked, drunkenness 
was not seen, nor swearing heard, and the churches were 
crowded,^' as was stated by a contemporary writer ; but even- 
tually, the fear being over, the majority of the thoughtless 
reckless inhabitants resumed their accustomed ways. 

Whitefield had found friends among the nobility, through 
thQ influence of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, who had 


appointed liini lier chaplain^ and lie was thus afforded the 
opportunity of preaching to that class in her drawing-room. 
Lord Dartmouth also, of whom Cowper wrote — 

" We boast some rich ones whom the Gospel sways ; 
And one— who wears a coronet, and prays:" 

was one of those rare ones ; but the prevalent feeling, and 
ignorance too, may be shown from a letter of the Duchess of 
Buckingham to the Countess of Huntingdon, wherein she 
described the " doctrines of the Methodist preachers as most 
repulsive, and strongly tinctured with impertinence arid dis- 
respect towards their superiors, in perpetually endeavouring 
to level all ranks, and do away with all distinctions. It is 
monstrous to be told that you have a heart as sinful as the 
common wretches that crawl on the earth. This is highly 
offensive and /insulting ; and I cannot but wonder that your 
ladyship should relish any sentiments so much at variance 
with high rank and good breeding." 

Opposition of a coarser kind was occasionally met with, 
but none of those things moved the Apostolic preacher from 
his great purpose of *' seeking to save the lost." His zeal 
was not diminished by the coldness of some, or the violent 
opposition of others. He had frequently preached in Long 
Acre Episcopal Chapel, but the vicar of St. Martin's-in-the- 
Fields would allow it no longer in his parish ; so Whitefield 
determined to build a chapel of his own, and being Chaplain 
to a peeress of the realm, he sought to obtain episcopal 
sanction, but in that he failed. In writing to his patron the 
Countess of Huntingdon, he says : *^ I have taken a piece of 
ground not far from the Foundling Hospital, whereon to 
build a new chapel." The site upon which this chapel was 
' built is described in the lease obtained of General George 
Fitzroy, as " a plot of ground in the Crab and Walnut Tree 
Field (that portion of it known as the Little Sea, a large 
pond near the Lavender Mills, in the Coyes Garden), abutting 
on the road which ran from St. Giles's Church to the Adam 
and Eve Tavern." The foundation stone of Tottenham Court 
Chapel, as it was called, was laid in May 1756, on which 
occasion Whitefield preached, in his usual impassioned manner, 
from Ezra ii. 11, "All the people shouted with a great shout 
when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the 
House of the Lord was laid." It was completed, and opened 
for public worship on Nov. 7, 1756, on which occasion 


Whitefield preached a most impressive sermon from 1 Cor. 
iii. 11 ; ^* For other foundation can no man lay than that is 
laid, which is Jesus Christ.^' 

Such was the popularity of the preacher that in three years 
it was found to be necessary to enlarge the chapel ; and an 
octangular front was added : by which means a new gallery 
was formed^ generally called the Oven Gallery. Eoyalty in 
the person of the Prince of Wales and his royal brothers and 
sisters visited the chapel to hear the much talked of eloquent 
preacher; as did also Lords Chesterfield, Bolingbroke, Halifax, 
and Horace Walpole. David Garrick and other actors would 
also occasionally be found there; and even the sceptical 
David Hume was desirous of learning in what constituted 
the charm of Whitefield's oratory. 

Perhaps Cowper's description in his poem on "Hope" 
gives the best solution of his wonderful influence : — 

** He loved the world that hated him ; the tear 
That dropped upon his Bible was sincere ; 
Assailed by scandal and the tongue of strife. 
His only answer was a blameless life ; 
And he that forged, and he that drew the dart, 
Had each a brother's interest in his heart. 
Faurs love of Christ, and steadiness unbribed. 
Were copied close in him, and well transcribed, 
He followed Paul ; his zeal a kindred flame. 
His apostolic charity the same. 
Like him, crossed dieerfuUy tempestuous seasy 
Forsaking country, kindred, friends, and ease ; 
Like him he laboured ; and, like him, content 
To bear it, suffered shame, where'er he went." 

For fourteen years Whitefield continued to be the minister 
of this chapel, excepting his occasional visits to America, 
where his receptions were most enthusiastic. Not long after 
the opening of Tottenham Court Chapel, he went there. ' ' In 
all places the greater part of his congregations were affected to 
an amazing degree, and many were truly converted to God. 
In some places/' as he states in his journal, *' the whole con- 
gregation were diBsolved in tears.'' Seven times he crossed 
the Atlantic, but the seventh time he did not return. On 
Saturday, September 29, 1770, he rode from Portsmouth, 
New England, to Exeter, fifteen miles, and preached in the 
fields to a vast multitude. ^'Before he went to preach that 
day,*' his servant relates, "which proved to be his last 
sermon, Mr. Clarkson sen., observing him more uneasy than 
usuali said to him, ^ Sir, you are more fit to go to bea than 


to preach ;' to which Mr. Whitefield replied, ' True, sir,' 
^ but turning aside, he clasped his hands together, and looking 
up, said, * Lord Jesus, I am weary in Thy work, hut not 0/ 
Thy work. If I have not yet finished my course, let me go 
and speak for Thee once more in the fields, seal Thy truth^ 
and come home and die.' '' The text he spoke from was in 
2 Cor. xiii. 6. He went, preached, and the next day quietly 
departed to be with his Lord. His remains were interred at 
Newbury Port, near Boston, where he had expressed a wish 
to be buried. 

According to an agreement between Whitefield and Wesley 
whoever was the. survivor was to preach the funeral sermon 
of the departed. John Wesley, in a letter to his sister, 
wrote, " On Sunday I am to preach a funeral sermon for that 
blessed man, Mr. Whitefield, at the Tabernacle, and at 
Tottenham Chapel." Accordingly, on Sunday, November 
30, 1770, Wesley preached to an overflowing congregation 
in the latter place, from Num. xxiii. 10, " Let me die the 
death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." 

The inscription on a monumental tablet in Tottenham 
Chapel well describes his character and virtues : — 

** To the memory of George Whitefield, m.a., late Chaplain to the Right 
hon. the Countess of Huntingdon, Whose soul, made meet for glory, was taken 
to ImmanueVs bosom, the 30th Sept. 1770, and whose body now lies in the 
silent grave at Newbury Port, near Boston, in New England, there deposited 
in sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection to eternal life and glory. He 
was a man eminent in piety, of a humane, benevolent, and charitable dispo. 
sition ; his zeal in the cause of God was singular, his labours indefatigable, 
and his success in preaching the Gospel remarkable and astonishing. He 
departed this life in the 56th year of his age. 

<* And like his Master, by some despised, 

Like Him, by many others loved and prized ; 

But theirs shall be the everlasting crown, 

Not whom the world, but Jesus Christ shall own.'* 

The ministers who succeeded the Rev. George White- 
field were, the Rev. Torial Joss, who had been a sea captain ; 
the Rev. Matthew Wilks, whose grandson, Rev. Mark Wilks, 
is the valued minister of HoUoway Congregational Chapel ; 
the Rev, J. A. Knight ; and the Rev. John Hyatt, who was 
a very eloquent preacher. The Rev. Dr. Campbell is still 
gratefully remembered by many who in their youthful days 
were worshippers along with their parents in this chapel. 
The Dr. was a stern and uncompromising opponent of all 
error whether in individuals or m systems ; but those who 
knew him intimately esteemed him as a kind-hearted loving 


friend. As editor of tlie " British BaEaner," which he originat- 
ed as well as '* The Christian Witness/' and " Christian Penny 
Magazine/' he espoused most warmly Protestant principles, 
which in these days are by some persons lightly esteemed. 
His legal contest with the trustees of Tottenham Chapel in 
1834, originated from a determination to maintain purity of 
commimion in the Church by disallowing the presence of an 
unprincipled member, whose cause the trustees defended, 
was decided in favour of the Br. and the congregation who 
stood by him. But the contest was scarcely favourable to that 
peace and charity which is considered desirable in a christian 
community; and though eventally it came to an end, it was 
not without some attendant evils during its continuauce. 

The Rev. J. W. Richardson was joint pastor for a time, 
and eventually succeeded Dr. Campbell on his retirement. 

Centenary services were held in 1856, after the chapel had 
been thoroughly repaired, on its re-opening on 25 May, with 
sermons by Dr. Bennett, Revs. Samuel Martin, Baldwin 
Brown, and C. H. Spurgeon. On 7th November following, 
the anniversary of the first opening of the chapel one hundred 
years before, Mr. Richardson gave a history of the chapel. 
Drs. Campbell, Leifchild, J. Sherman, and others taking part 
in a series of services on the occasion. On 23 February of the 
following year the chapel was damaged by fire, it was 
repaired, and a few years later was sold by order of the Court 
of Chancery. Then it was bought by the London Congre- 
gational Chapel Building Society for £4,700, and by them 
almost entirely rebuilt, and a portico and towers added. The 
Rev. J. W. Boulding was appointed minister, and on his 
resignation, after a few years, the present minister, the Rev. 
L. D. Bevan, ll.b. succeeded to the ministry in this most 
venerated sanctuary. The increasing popularity and useful- 
ness of Mr. Bevan is calculated to restore the aforetime success 
of Tottenham Court Chapel. 

Of the streets westward of Tottenham Court Road, Percy- 
street was one of the earliest, being built in the year 1765. 
At the end of it once stood Percy Chapel, in which, at one 
time, public meetings of the inhabitants of the parish were 
held. On the 3rd of August 1786, there was a great stir, as 
the inhabitants crowded into this building to give vent to their 
indignation at the act of the Select Vestry in levying a 
Church Rate of sixpence in the pound. The Church Trustees 
of St. Pancras had rebuilt the chapel in Kentish Town^ and 



the tradesmen who had been employed were clamorous for 
the payment of their bills. But the spirit of St. Pancras 
was aroused at the demand of the Trustees, the improvident 
surrender of Church property to the Grafton family being too 
recent to be forgotten, and they in public meeting assembled 
unanimously resisted payment of the rate. In consequence, 
citations were served upon several of the parishioners to 
appear before the Court of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, 
and a suit was tried against John .Hole before Sir William 
Scott, who decided against the legality of the rate, on the 
ground that the application should in the first instance have 
been made to the Court for a Faculty. After a two years' 
contest, an amicable arrangement was come to, the Trustees 
relinquishing all further proceedings on their part, and each 
party agreeing to pay their own costs, adopting means " to 
avoid the occasion on pretence for any future Church Rate.'' 
Church Rates were afterwards laid, to the dissatisfaction of a 
large number of the parishioners, in 1816, but ceasing to be 
imposed in 1842. 

Percy Chapel was long celebrated for its popular preachers. 
One of the most earnest and spiritually minded of these was 
the Rev. James Haldane Stewart, who was educated at Eton 
and afterward at Oxford. He entered Lincoln's Inn, and 
became eminent as a barrister; but he subsequently was 
ordained as a clergyman of the Church of England, for a 
short time oificiated in Reading, and soon after was appointed 
to Percy Chapel, then known as a proprietary chapel. From 
October 1812 till the year 1828, the earnestness of Mr. 
Stewart secured a full attendance, amongst his auditory being 
Sir Robert Harry Inglis and several other distinguished 
members of the House of Commons. On the expiration of 
the term of the lease, the proprietary trustees of the chapel, 
calculating upon the popularity of the minister, required a 
larger rent than the minister and congregation thought right 
to give, so the ministry of Mr. Stewart in Percy Chapel 
ceased in 1828. He then became Rector of St. Bride's, 
Liverpool, in which town he died 22nd October, 1854, 
aged 78. 

The Rev. Robert Montgomery was minister of Percy 
Chapel for some years. He had published a poem, entitled 
** Satan," from which circumstance, and also to distinguish 
him from the more celebrated James Montgomery, of Shef- 
field, he was called by the critics " Satan " Montgomery. 


He was esteemedy however^ by his congregation as an eloquent 
and outspoken preacher. After the death of Mr. Montgomery 
a few years since, Percy Chapel was pulled down, and other 
buildings have been erected on its site. 

Near Fitzroy Square, at the comer of London-street is a 
plain brick chapel, known for nearly a century as Fitzroy 
Chapel. It was purchased for a parochial church in 1863, 
through the exertions of the Rev. Frederick Perry, powerfully 
seconded by the Very Rev,. Dean Champneys and Archbishop 
Tait, then Bishop of London. Among the more eminent 
ministers of Fitzroy Chapel was the Rev. Sydney Smith, of 
whom it was said, after his death, by the ''Athenaeum,^' that his 
name was a word of fear to the shallow, the corrupt, the 
fanatical, yet whose mirtb made all on whom it beamed 
healthy and gay. He was energetic, but not restless ; bril- 
liant, but not superficial ; — good, without pretence of per- 
fection — honourable beyond the possibility of trick or com- 
promise, and courageous even when there were few to stand 
by him. He was an indulgent friend, a devoted husband, 
and a tender and just father. When living, the tongue of 
scandal said much to his disparagement, as to his doctrine 
and his life, but ''it speaks volumes for one so brimful with 
life and spirits, so rich in the power of giving and of taking 
enjoyment, that he never yielded to the habits of convivial 
excess, which then distinguished life at college or in general 
society, and that he never fell into debt.'' This may be nega- 
tive praise, but it must have rare worth with those who know 
what the lives of wits, old and young, have been, and what 
such lives have been encouraged to become by false friendship. 

At one time four distinguished painters attended Fitzroy 
Chapel ; B. R. Haydon, Benjamin West, Sir David Wilkie, 
and Sir Charles Eastlake. Sydney Smitb used to say to 
them that they had sat at Gamaliel's feet, and that it was 
he who had made them what they were. The Rev. Dr. 
HoUoway and the Rev. Mr. Rooker, a preacher in the 
American style, were also preachers in this chapel. When 
the chapel was purchased for a district church, and called 
St. Saviour's, one half of the sittings (560) were appropriated 
to the poor for ever. The Bishop of London's Fund con- 
tributed £1,050 towards the purchase. There are two 
pictures in St. Saviour's Church, representing Moses and 
Christ, ^hey y^&^e painted expressly for the church and 
presented by iBenjamin West. 


The celebrated actress Mrs. Siddons used to live at 8, 
Grafton-street. John Flaxman at one time lived at No. 12 
in the same street, and David Roberts at 7, Fitzroy-street, all 
in St. Saviour's Parish. The last named distinguished 
artist wrote to Mr. Perry, wishing him " God speed " in 
converting the chapel into a church, and enclosing a cheque 
for £10. Sir Charles Eastlake also contributed liberally and 
warmly to the same object. 

The old chapel retains its original form, and remains as an 
evidence of the simplicity of the last century, contrasting with 
the modem taste for architectural adornment. 

To the east of Tottenham Court Road is Gower-street, 
erected about 1784, which still maintains its character for 
being the resort of gentry and professional men; but the 
neighbouring dwellings known as crescents and places have 
degenerated into lodging-houses. The long gardens to the 
houses on both sides of Gower-street (in some of which are 
venerable spreading trees) tend to promote the healthfulness 
of the neighbourhood. The spacious lawns, and shrubberies 
and flower-beds in the frontage of the London University 
give intimation of the changes of the seasons ; the fragrance 
of the lilac in spring, and the beauty of the flowers in their 
season, serve to cheer the toiling multitudes who daily pass 
to the various workshops or warehouses in which so large a 
portion of their lives are spent. 

The University College was founded for the purpose of 
providing the inhabitants of the metropolis with the means 
of obtaining a complete education for their sons, unattended 
with the additional expense and the risks of residence at the 
old universities, by having them under parental control ; a 
second object was to provide the advantage of such an educa- 
tion for all classes of Dissenters from the Church of England, 
and a third object was the establishment in the metropolis 
of extended and systematic courses of education in Law and 
Medicine and Civil Engineering. The project was first 
made known in the year 1825, and was favourably received. 
In a few months sufficient funds were obtained ; by subscrip- 
tions of about 1,100 shareholders, who subscribed upwards of 
£161,000, and by donations of £2,350. The site on which 
the College now stands was secured, a design of the late 
Mr. Wilkins was approved, and the first stone was laid on 
the 30th April 1827 by his Royal Highness the Duke of 
Sussex. By the dose of the year 1828 the institution was 


in full operation in all tlie usual branches of academic learn- 
ing, except theology. 

The omission of theological classes from the course of study 
gave rise to much discussion, and a stigma was attempted to 
be fixed on the new institution, that its promoters were 
indifferent to the claims of religion ; and it was also urged 
that no system of education in which theology was not in- 
cluded would be complete. The promoters replied, that 
their intention was not to give an education for the ministers 
of religion, Oxford and Cambridge were sufficient in that 
respect for the Church of England, and to agree upon any 
system of theological instruction for ministers of various 
denominations was obviously impossible. In fact, the insti- 
tution was intended for the instruction of students as laymen 
only ; and it not being proposed to found a college in which 
young men should reside, but rather a Hall in which they 
should meet during a certain portion only of every day to 
receive instruction, and it being left to the choice of the 
parents and guardians to provide for the students religious 
education and devotional exercises. 

Another college, similar in its nature, excepting that it also 
contained classes for instruction in the tenets of the Church 
of England, was soon afterwards founded, under the auspices 
of the Bishops and Clergy. King's College, in the Strand, 
adjoining Somerset House, is thus due to the fears of those 
who looked with a suspicious eye upon the new project. The 
experience of nearly half a century has proved all such fears 
to be groundless, though the character of its supporters 
ought to have been judged of sufficient security at the time. 
To the late Lord Brougham, and such enlightened men as 
the late George Grote, is due this institution for the diffusion 
of knowledge and the advancement of civil and religious 
liberty. The efforts to obtain a charter of incorporation were 
opposed by the two old Universities, when the charge of 
indifference to religion was renewed, and its supporters were 
reproached with inculcating infidelity. '*They do not teach 
religion," it was argued ; *^ therefore, they teach no religion ; 
therefore, they teach infidelity.'^ However, on 26th March 
1835, the House of Commons carried a motion for an address 
to the King for the grant of a charter by a majority of 110 
members against the government of Sir Eobert Peel who was 
then Prime Minister, 246 members voting in its favour. 
Effect was given to this vote in Aug^t 1835, when Lord 


Melbourne returned to power ; Mr. Sjpring Rice, beinff Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, communicated to the Council of the 
Univereitjr what became accepted as their Charter of Incor- 
poration as ''to a body of gentlemen of eminence in learning 
and sciencoi who should have the power of examining can- 
didates and of conferring degrees in Arts, and Laws/' on 
students of certain Colleges in London, of which the 
University College, King's College, and St. Cuthbert's 
College, Ushaw, Stoneyhurst College, Homerton, Spring Hill 
BirnuDgham, Cheshunt, and several other colleges belonging 
to various denominations; while the medical institutions 
recognised hj the . University included the King's College 
and University College, London. The principal hospitals ; 
in all, seventeen in London, besides several other institutions 
in England, Scotland, and Ireland. It was ultimately found 
desirable to remove all suspicion of partiality for the students 
of University College on the part of its professors, by the 
Examining Body ceasing to hold their meetings in Gower- 
street, and hence their removal to Burlington House. 
Much conftision has arisen from the supposition that the 
College and the University are identical, and the alteration 
of the place of meeting of the latter Body will no doubt help 
to show that the University College in Gower-street is for 
educational purposes alone, while the London University is 
a Body of Professors who confer degrees upon all students 
who comply with the requirements laid down. 

Several endowments have been made to the College. One, 
in 1836, by Mrs. Mary Flaherty, of £5,000, which has enabled 
the Council to establish four annual scholarships of £50 a year 
for four years, of which one is awarded every year to the 
best proficient in mathematics and classical learning gener* 
ally ; with additions by the Council, this fund yields £200 
per annum. Another endowment of £3,000 from a bene- 
factor signed " Patriot " was formerly at the disposal of 
Lord Brougham, who applied it to the maintenance of classes 
by the Professors of Latin, Greek, Mathematics, and Natural 
Philosophy, for the instruction of schoolmasters of imendowed 
schools and of ushers, on payment of a trifling additional fee. 
Other endowment Ainds to the amount of about £36,000 
will eventually accrue to the College. 

According to the original design the college was to have 
consisted [of a centre and two wings. The southern wing 
was not completed till the year 1873. The front, eit* 



tending about 400 feet, is of two floors, constructed in free- 
stone, with Oorinthian pilasters on the upper story. The 
grand entrance is of a rich architectural character, also 
Corinthian, haying ten columns in front, ascended by flights 
of steps leading to an octangular vestibule, surmounted by a 
dome rising bwind the pediment of the portico. The late 
Dr. Morrison's Chinese library, containing about 10,000 
Tolomes collected by that indefatigable Chinese scholar and 
missionary, is in a room exclusiyely appropriated to it. The 
Law library, the Medical library, besides museums devoted 
to anatomy, chemistry, natural history, &c., are worthy of 
the institution, and the valuable collection of fine sculpture 
by Flaxman in the entrance hall, and in two adjoining 
apartments, may be seen by the general public on Saturdays 
in the months of May, June, July, and August, from ten till 
four o'clock. There, aLso, may be seen in pencil drawings the 

ferms of the ideas which grew into the beautiful sculptures, 
he subjects in most cases may be known from their telling 
their own story, or by the inscription such as *' Thy Will be 
done," but they are not numbered for reference to the 
Catalogue. Perhaps for lack of these conveniences but a 
limited number of persons visit this gallery, which deserves 
to be seen by all admirers of John Flfu^man's works. 

In 1834, University Hospital was erected on part of the 
ground belonging to the college, by public subscription, 
chiefly among the proprietors, at a cost of about £10,000. 
The object was to idford clinical instruction to the medical 
students, under the superintendence of the professors attached 
to the college. 

Nearly opposite the London University is Gower-street 
Qhapel, erected in 1820, by a section of seceding members 
from Huntingdon's Providence Chapel ; an illustration of the 
narrowness of sectarianism in contrast to the wideness of the 
claims of humanity. 

Their first minister, the Eev. Henry Fowler, of Birming- 
ham, did not, however, secure the esteem of the whole of the 
^^ church ;" but by introducing as occasional preachers some 
of the most '' gifted " men of his own persuasion, such as 
Mr. Gbdsby, of Manchester^ Mr. Warburton, of Trowbridge, 
Mr. Philpot, of Oxford, who had resigned a living near 
there in tne Church of England, and who was a most able 
minister, Mr. Kershaw, of Bochdale, and otiiiers, Mr. Fowler 
succeeded in maintaining his position till the end of his cUiys. 


His snccefisor, Mr. Blackstock, was not so fortunate^ bnt 
shortiiy after his accession, he resigned ; the chapel was put 
up for sale by auction^ and the earnest^ though eccentric 
Key. Arthur Triggs, became the purchaser. His origin, 
like that of Huntingdon's, was yery humble. He came to 
London from Plymouth, became minister of Zion Chapel, 
Waterloo Road, and then of Gower-street. He had a strong 
Cornish accent ; and he commenced his prayers generally 
with the words, ** O, Lord, be pleased to listen to thy dust.'* 
To a stranger his prayer seemed to be the familiar talk of a 
man with his friend, and as one who was lacking in due 
reverence ; but it was the natural language and spirit of the 
man. An occasional attendant at his Tuesday evening's 
service used to say, that though Mr. Triggs was exceedingly 
homely in his discourse, there was much originality and 
instruction in it; and his doctrine was similar to that of 
the Itey. Montague Yilliers, though lacking the cidtivation 
and polish of the then Bector of St. George's, Bloomsbury. 

Though popular for a time, Mr. Triggs's hearers eventually 
80 diminished, that he himself said ^' Now that the pews are 
empty, it is time I went out at the door.'' He sold the chapel 
and returned to Plymouth, but not meeting with acceptance 
there, he came back to London, and the once popular preacher 
ministered a short time till his death in a small meeting- 
place in Lambeth. 

Gower-street Chapel was purchased by a portion of the 
congregation who seceded when Mr. Blackstock vacillated 
respecting the strict conmiunion doctrine, and a tolerably 
large congregation meet there now, though they have not 
yet succeeded in finding or securing a minister after their 
own hearts. 

Defoe's epigram respecting the two spirits which sometimes 
reside ''above and below," is applicable to this Chapel; 
which, in the estimation of some persons is somewhat in- 
congruous, the influence of the '' spirituous '' being in oppo- 
sition to the maintenance of the '' spiritual.'^ The date of 
the spirit vaults and of the chapel are identical. Though 
called the XTniversity Wine Yaults^ they are under the 
chapel, occupying the place formerly devoted in such build- 
ings to catacombs for me departed. 




thb hahpstead boab — sols bow, and sib datid l/m<kie ; thb 
sols abms; st. pancbas female chabitt school; st. 
James's chapel and bubial^qbound ; lobd qeobge qobdok, 
qeobqe mobland, etc. — mobninoton chubch, and bey. t. t. 
lynch — mobnington place, and geobge cbuikshank — 
mobnington cbescent and habbington squabe. 

In a previoiu chapter reference was made to the only mode 
of oonyeyance seyentj years since from Paddington to the 
City, and also to the description of vehicle which with diffi- 
oidty performed the journey but twice a day. The Adam 
and Eve has now daily a crowded assemUage inside its 
modem gin-shop, and outside are the intending passengers 
by omnibus or tram*car which have their terminus here. 
But the greatest marvel of all is the Underground Bailway 
— two of its stations being at the comers of Gower-streetand 

Before leaving that part of the Hampstead Road, the ad- 
mirers of David Wilkie can look with interest at Sols Row, 
as in No. 10 that well*known artist painted his '^ Blind 
Fiddler.'' His first patron in London was Stodart the 
pianoforte maker, who happened to have married a Wilkie, 
md had a taste for painting as well as music He introduced 
Wilkie to Ihe Earl of Slan^eld^ who commissioned him to 
paint a picture from his sketch of the Village Politicians. 
The sum i^ first asked by Wilkie was fifSteen guineas. 
When finished it was exhibited at the Ro^al Axsademy, in 
1806, and it «oited such universal admiraUoa that he was 
induced to demand thirty guineas, of the Earl, who at. first 
disputed his.right to make any suck demand^ but eventuaify 
paid the money. He had been ofifeced by two otijer parties 
£100 for the picture. He was then twenty-one years of age. 
Yarious comments were made by the Academicians upon this 
picture. Sir William Northcote terming it the ^^ pauper 


style/' and Foseli saying to Wilkie ** yonng man, that is a 
dangerous work. That picture will either prove the most 
happy or the most unfortunate work of your life.'' It has 
been said that as a painting Wilkie never surpassed it after- 
wardSi though in suUect he produced several happier 
pictures ; and that hia &me rests upon this picture, and the 
" Chelsea Pensioners/' the latter having been painted for 
the late Duke of Wellington for 1,200 guineas. It was ex- 
hibited in 1822, and is generally considered to be WiHcie's 
master-piece. The ''Blind Fiddler" was painted for Sir 
George Beaumont in 1807, while tiie painter was living in 
Sols Kow. He was then being assisted in the details of his 
work by a fellow countryman and brother artist named 
Fraser who lived in Johnson-street, Somers Town, where 
Wilkie sometimes visited him ; the feet of Charles Dickens 
also trod that street at the time he lived there with his 
parents some years afterwards. 

Sir David Wilkie died on his voyage home from a tour in 
the East on board the '' Oriental/' on the 1st of June 1841, 
and at half-past eight in the evening of the same day his 
body was committed to the deep. A monument was erected 
to his memory by public subscription promoted by Sir Eobert 
Peel, and is placed in the entrance hall of the National 

The Sols Arms, at the comer, was at one time a noted 
house as the meeting-place of such characters as Colonel 
HJanger and the aristocratic sporting men of that day. It 
was subsequently frequented bv an exclusive set of persons 
who disoouraged the conversation of aU strangers. 

Pursuing our perambulation along the Hampstead Boad, 
the next o^ect of interest is the St. Panoras Female Charity 
School, llie origin of this useful institution is due to 
William Mitchell, Esq., when senior churchwarden of the 
parish, in 1775. On the 14th Jnlv, at a meeting of the Yestry 
in the old Kentish Town Chapel, he stated " that sermons 
had been preached in Percy Chapel and large sums collected 
for the benefit of the children of St. Giles and St. George 
Bloomsbury ; and that as there were many poor children in this 
parish belonging to the inhabitants 'thereof, he thought it 
desirable that a school should be erected for their education ; 
and suggested that sermons should be preached in the church 
and chapels, and also that voluntary subscriptions should be 
sdieited from the inhabitants/' A oommittee was i^pwited 


for the purpose, and a public meeting of the parisliionerfi 
Iield in the September foUowing at Mr. Coney's, the " BeU/' 
Battle Bridge, to further the object. An address was read 
on the occasion, which somewhat quaintly described the con- 
dition of many poor children of *' unfortunate parents of the 
parish of St. Pancras '' as having no opportunity of being 
'' instructed in the principles of Christianity (to the gross ig- 
norance of which all vices, idleness, and debauchery are 
chiefly owing)," and stated that several well disposed persons 
of the parish were " inclined to enter into a voluntary sub- 
scription for the setting up and supporting a school n>r the 
instructing, clothing, and putting forth apprentice, or to 
domestic service, the children of the poor inhabitants.'^ 
Other parishes are then referred to as an evidence of the good 
effects resulting from such institutions. Several resolutions 
were then passed. The first was, " That the children be in- 
structed in the principles of the Christian religion, taught 
true humility and obedience to their superiors, and such 
other education as may be really necessary to make them of 
benefit to the community as honest and useful servants. Also 
that they be annually clothed at Easter, and when of proper 
age put out apprentice to trades or domestic service." A 
sum of money was also to be given them at the binding, and 
at the expiration of their apprenticeship they were to be 
presented with a Bible and a " Whole Duty of Man," with 
a suitable exhortation to the discharge of their duty. In 
1776 a house in Windmill-street, Tottenham Court Eoad, 
was taken for the school, and six girls were admitted ; the 
number was, by subscriptions, donations, and legacies, after- 
wards increased to sixty-five. The original school being too 
small for the increased number of children, a piece of ground, 
on the eastern side of the Hampstead Soad, next to St, 
James's Chapel, was granted by Lord Southampton, and a 
new school-house erected thereon in 1790, the cost of the 
building being defrayed by the voluntary contributions of 
the parishioners. The children are elected by the subscribers 
by ballot. The qualifications for admission ensure respecta- 
bility on the part of the parents, who must have resided in 
the parish for two years at least previous to application, and 
have paid a rent of not less than £10 yearly. The girls 
must be between nine and eleven years of age, be in good 
health, and free from all bodily deformity. From personal 
inspection of this excellent institution, it appears to the 


writer of these Noted, tliat a most efficient means of sttpplying^ 
good serrantSy a great need in the present day, is now being^ 
much overlooked. The school-house is every way fitted for 
its object. There is but one servant (a copk)^ the girls 
themselves doing all the requisite household work — the most 
effectual way to render ihem fit for domestic service. Their- 
appearance is healthfiil and cheerful. The large kitchen, in 
which the girls assist in rotation, serves also the purpose of a 
dining-room. All the appointnlents seemed to be well or* 
deredy and together with the general cleanliness, are highly 
creditable to the matron. While only a plain education is 
given, the really important duties of *' obedience to parente^ 
and superiors, of gratitude to benefactors, of courtesy and 
civility to all " is continually enforced — qualities somewhat 
out of fashion generally in the present day. '^ The advan* 
tages and happiness arising from diligence, industry, honesty, 
and sobriety are frequently pointed out to them, in order 
that they may become useful members of the community in 
the stations wherein it shall please Providence to place them." 
The Board-room of the institution is a handsome apartment ; 
the names of a large number of benefactors are written in. 
gold on the panels of the walls; over the fire-place is a 
portrait of Thomas Hussell, Esq., one of the former Trustees ; 
it was painted by J. P. Knight, r.a. Some interest is con- 
ferred on this room from the fact that it was for many years 
the meeting-place of the Yestry and Directors of the Poor, 
until the building of the Vestry BoQms in Gordon-street, in 
the year 1829, the latter being used till the year 1847, when 
the present Yestry Hall in the King's Eoad was erected. The 
school-room is large and well ventilated. A marble tablet 
has been placed in this room in remembrance of the aforesaid 
Mr. Russell, who appears to have been a warm friend of the 
institution while living, and at his death leaving nearly £400 
as a bequest. 

No doubt, institutions that are well adapted for the time 
when founded may subsequently need alterations and modifi- 
cations to meet the requirements of the day. In this institu- 
tion, the rule respecting apprenticeship is being relaxed in 
deference to the wishes of some of its supporters ; but in 
every other respect it appears to be the very institution that 
ia especially needed at the present time. This school was 
originally intended to meet cases of misfortune — not those 
of abject poverty* It was founded to prevent children from 


fiiBkiag into that condition, and by its guardiansliii) abd 
tuition to qualify for and eventually to introduce them into 
respectable situations. It is also an orphan asylum» there 
having been many inmates possessing that additional claim 
upon the sympathy of the parish. Such institutions will 
always be needed for the sake of the unfortunate ; and the 
supply of good well-trained domestic servants is one of the 
many requirements difficult to be obtained. As the inmates 
are elected from every district in the parish, it is still a 
parish institution. The original idea was to press its claims 
for support once a year upon the attendants at '^ the church 
and chapels '' then existing. Sermons at the present time 
are preached only at the parish church. The St. Panoras 
JB'emale Charity School is therefore much overlooked. If 
each clergyman in the parish could be induced by the excel- 
lent Yioar to commend once a year the claims of the school 
upon his congregation, no doubt abundant means would soon 
be furnished, and thus prosperity be restored to an institu- 
tion which only needs to be known and visited to create the 
conviction that it is still as deserving of support as any which 
more modern benevolence has devised in this large parish. 

Adjoining this institution is the St. Jameses Burial Ground. 
An Act for providing an additional Burial Ground for the 
parish of St. James's, Westminster, and erecting a chapel ad- 
joining thereto, and also a house for the residence of a 
clergyman to officiate in burying the dead, was passed in the 
year 1788. A piece of ground was purchased, " containing 
four acres, part of a certain field called ' The Brick Field,' 
belonging to Lord Southampton, situate in the parish of St. 
Pancras, lying eastward of and adjoining to the Turnpike- 
road leading from Tottenham Court Boad towards Hamp- 
stead, at the distance of 420 yards from the Islington 
Turnpike-road," which groimd was vested in the Rector and 
churchwardens of the parish of St. James's, Westminster, 
and their successors for ever, for the purposes therein men- 
tioned. A similar provision was made as in the case of the 
other cemeteries in the parish in relation to rates, tithes, &c. 
Then the compensation clause required the trustees to pay 
annually to Charles Lord Southampton and his successors 
the sum of £100, to the parish of St. Pancras the clear rent- 
charge of £2 10s , and to the vicar the sum of £l Is. annually. 
The first payment was made in 1790. The chapel erected 
for the uso of the cemetery was a chapel-ofToase to the parish 

ST, PANCRAS — ^PASt AlO) PaBSEKt. 185 

of St. James's. The first resident Minister was the Bev. John 
Armstrongy bj>., from the time of its consecration 10 January 
1793. The monumental inscription to his memory, dated 
17 August 183&, aged 76, is preceded by that to his mother, 
Mrs. Catherine Armstrong, *^ who finished a course of piety 
and resignation to the Divine Will, on the 22nd of Novem- 
ber 1802.^' For many years the Rev. Dr. Stebbing was the 
officiating minister ; he still resides in the house adjoining 
the churchyard. His mother lies buried here, as recorded on 
a neat monument near the entrance. The poor lunatic 
hero of the "No Popery'' riots of 1780, Lord George 
Gordon, also rests here, but there is no visible record of 
the fact. There was a large party in Scotland as well as in 
England who sympathised with him in his views. Eiots had 
taken place in Edinburgh, and houses of reputed Eoman 
Catholics were assailed and damaged^ and even the historian 
Robertson was an object of the hostility of his countrymen. 
It is scarcely just to visit upon Lord George Gordon the whole 
blame of the awful events of those six days of lawlessness. 
The remembrance of the despotism of the Boman yoke made 
many fear that by relaxing the severe laws affecting the 
privileges of Roman Catholics, those days might again re- 
turn. Hence, when another Bill was introduced in 1780 for 
relief of Roman Catholics from penalties and disabilities^ he 
collected a mob in St. George's Fields; and marched to the 
House with a petition against the measure, and dreadful riots 
ensued. A lesson was taught by the events of that time that 
there is no despotism so oppressive as that of a mob. The 
houses of all persons thought to be favourable to Catholic 
emancipation were set fire to. " Wednesday the 7th of June 
was the fatal day/' Walpole at the time wrote^to a friend. 
'' You may like to know one is alive, after a massacre, and]the 
conflagration of a capital — the most horrible sight I ever 
beheld^ and which, for six hours together, I expected to end 
in half the town being reduced to ashes." '^ One might see," 
says Dr. Johnson, '< the glare of conflagration fill the sky 
from many parts. The sight was dreadful." Charles Knight 
says, in his "Popular History," "London was on fire in 
thirty-six different places. The most dreadful scene was in 
Holbom, where the distillery of Mr. Langdale, a Roman 
Catholic, was set on fire ; and the unrectified spirit pouring 
into the streets was lapped up by the wretched crowds of 
men, womeu and children^ who perished inhdpless diw^w-* 


nes8 amidst liquid fire or falling timbers, Throngh that 
terrible night deep was banished from a metropolis wholly 
unused to scenes of anarchy. The next morning all were 
quiet. This was effected by the military^ wfab were called in 
at last in aid of the law. Lord George Gordon was com- 
mitted to the Tower, on a charge of high treason, but was 
so successfully defended by Erskine that he was acquitted. 
Of the miserable rioters, 136 were tried, about half werepon^ 
yicted, and 21 were executed." Perhaps the best evidence 
of the insanity of Lord George Gordon was that of his sub* 
sequently wholly abandoning Christianity, and embracing 
Judaism. He was committed to Newgate for libel, and at 
length died there in 1793, and was buried in this church- 

The remains of the celebrated painter George Morland 
also lie here, but no stone marks the spot. He was bom in 
London in 1764. The merits of his works are well known, 
their fidelity to nature being their chief characteristic ; and 
his facility of execution was so great that it enabled him to 
paint many valuable pictures in ale- houses, to discharge his 
reckoning, — a dangerous facility that only hastened his ruin. 
He died in what was then called a sponging-house^ an insti- 
tution of the past, in 1804. 

Mr. Wilkie Collins, the popular novelist, in an account of 
his father, William Collins the artist, states, that on his first 
introduction to George Morland, ''on being told by his 
father that Morland was in the housC; he opened the kitchen 
door by a sort of instinct, and looked cautiously in. On two 
old chairs, placed by the smouldering fire, sat, or rather 
rolled, two men, both sank in the heavy sleep of intoxication. 
The only light in the room was a small rush candle, which 
imperfectly displayed the forms of the visitors. One, in spite 
of the ravages of dissipation, was still a remarkably handsome 
man, both in figure and face. The other was of immense 
stature and strength, coarse, and almost brutal in appearance. 
The first was George Morland ; the second, a celebrated 
prize-fighter of the day, who was the painter^s chosen com- 
panion at the time.'^ 

^' Morland's habits of life — rambling, painting, and drink- 
ing — are well known. Notwithstanding, William Collins 
had such reverence for the man, on account of his genius, 
that when Morland died, in 1804, and Collins was 16 years 
of age, he attended his funeral in the burial-ground of 8t 


ST. FAKCRAfih-^FASr Ain> PKBSBNT. 187 

James's Chapel, Hampstead Eoad; and, after tlie people 
were gone, he thrust his stick into the wet earth as far as it 
would go, carried it carefully home, and when it was dry. 
Tarnished it. His friend, Mr. Kirton said that as long as he 
knew him, he kept it, and had much veneration for it.'' 

About the centre of the ground there is an altar tomb, 
being the family grave of Mr. John Mills, late of Oxford- 
street, whose son, Mr. John Nicholson Mills, late of Bayhain- 
street, Camden Town, died in October, 1847, and bequeathed, 
as set forth in a marble tablet in St. Stephen's Churoh, Pratt- 
street, Camden Town, " £300 sterling, to be laid out in trust, 
in some perpetual government stock, in the names of the 
minister of this chapel and the churchwardens of the parish 
of St. Pancras for the time being, and the interest to be ap- 
plied by them ; part in occasionally painting and keeping in 
decent repair his family grave>stone in the burial ground of 
St. James's Chapel, Hampstead Bead, and the remainder in 
distributing annually, at Christmas, bread, meat, coals, or 
clothing, as they may deem most, useful to poor widows and 
orphans, inhabitants of Camden Town ; not receiving any 
parochial relief — a preference being given to those who regu- 
larly attend public worship." The bequest was laid out in 
the purchase of £356 128. 3d. Consolidated Three per Cent. 

There are monumental inscriptions to George Lord South- 
ampton, in 1810 ; Sir William Hillman, 1793 ; the Countess 
Dowager Winterton, 1841, aged 83 ; Sir John Floyd, 1818 ; 
Lieutenant Cruger, who served with great distinction in 
America under Marquis Comwallis, '^ to his gallantry and 
good conduct as a soldier were added every virtue that could 
adorn a Christian and a Gentleman," and who diedinEussell 
Place, Fitzroy Square, June, 1807 ; George Smart, musician, 
1786 ; Earl of Bosse, &c. Close to the large family vault of 
Messrs. Barclay, the Brewers, a monument railed round has 
just been newly painted. It records the good deeds of 
Mr. Fennell, who for many years was '* The Friend of the 
Friendless." Many other tombstones' and monuments also 
record the virtues and good deeds of those whose remains rest 
here. These may serve to awaken emulation in those who 
read them, remembering also that there is '^ no work or device 
in the grave to which we are all hastening;" and the amiable 
forgetmlness of the frailties of the departed may also serve 
to qualify; if not disprove the aphorism of Shakspere, thftt 



*^ The evil ^dnoh men do lives after them : the good is oft 
interred with their bones/' 

The partial signs of attention to the condition of the monu- 
ments, &c., only render the general neglect here more ap- 
parent. Whatever may occasion the present state of this 
cemetery, it is somewhat of a disgrace that the rights of the 
proprietors of private graves should be disregarded* Stones 
have been removed from the graves, and many that remain 
are in a very dilapidated condition ; and there appears to be 
no one on the spot capable of giving any information. Some 
time since a lady offered compensation if the stone belonging 
to her family grave could be found, but in vain. The present 
appearance of the ground must be somewhat similar to that 
which it presented when a ^* brickfield.'^ An attempt appears 
to have been made to level the ground, and the work to have 
been suspended. No doubt there are difficulties in the way 
of satisfying the desires of everybody ; but whatever may be 
done to place this and other closed graveyards in a satisfactory 
condition^ the rights and feelings of those most deeply con- 
cerned should be held of primary importance. 

The suggestion that our City cnurchyards should be planted 
with hardy flowering plants, might, with advantage, be ex- 
tended to all closed churchyards situated in towns. Why 
could not the upright gravestones be placed against the walls 
of the churchyard ? W alks might be planned out, and raised 
flower-beds be planted, and seats placed for the accommoda- 
tion of visitors. Gardens attached to houses and airing 
places generally are becoming so rare, on account of the in- 
creased value of land, that such spots as we are referring to, 
if divested of their sombre and ruinous aspect, might serve 
the very beneficial purpose of promotinff the health of the 
inhabitants as well as calming the indignation of relatives 
and friends of the departed. 

St. James's Chapel is now one of the district churches of 
St. Pancrasy efE^ted by an arrangement with the authorities 
of the parish of St. James's. Some years, however, elapsed 
before this natural and more convenient ecclesiastical order 
of things was arranged, the peculiar position of its original 
connection with the latter parish, from the closing of the 
burial-ground, having entirely ceased to exist. 

At the beginning of the present century St. James's 
Chapel and churchyard were surrounded by fields. In 1812, 
Iforth f laoe wa» wected ; other houses were eventually built 


westward, and two sehools were set up. Attentioa lias been 
attracted to one of them bj Mr. Forster in his Life of Charles 
Dickens, already referred to in a former chapter. 

At the comer of Granby-street and the Hampstead Road, 
and known as Mr. Jones's Ulassical and Commercial Academy, 
as then inscribed in front of the house, was the school m 
which. Charles Dickens was educated at the time he was living 
with his parents in Johnson-street, Somers Town, daring the 
years 1824 — 26. Mr. Thomas, one of his schoolfellows, says : 
<< The house stands now in its original state, but the school 
and large play-ground behind disappeared on the formation 
of the London and North Western Eailway, which at this 
point nms in a slanting direction from Euston Square under- 
neath the Hampstead Bead.'' There were then fields in front 
and behind that school. 

** We (Charles Dickens) went to look at it, only this last 
Midsummer (1851), and found that the railway had cut it 
up root and branch. A great trunk line had swallowed the 
play-ground, sliced away the school- room, and pared off the 
c<»mer of the house ; which, thus curtailed of its proportions, 
presented itself, in a green stage of stucco, profilewise towards 
the road, like a forlorn flat-iron without a handle, standing 
on end.''. . . . 

** But the school .... We were old enough to be put 
into Virgil when we went there, and to get prizes for a 
variety of polishing, on which the rust has long accumulated. 
It was a school of some celebrity in its neighbourhood — 
nobody could have said why — and we had the honour to 
attain and hold the eminent position of first boy." 

In No. 81 of ^* Household Words," is the above accoimt of 
** Our School," containing, besides, sketches of the master, 
the usher, the Latin master, the dancing master, the French 
master, a serving man named *' Phil," and the pupils, which 
tends to show that Charles Dickens had a favourable oppor- 
tunity in those two years beyond that of many boys in a 
similar walk of life. That he made good use of all his oppor- 
tunities there is no. doubt, as his successful literary career 
gave full proof. • 

He says, '' There was another school not far off, and of 
course our school could have nothinff to say to that school. 
It is mostly the way with schools, wnether of boys or men. 
Well ! the railway has swallowed up otu:s, and the locomo- 
tives now run smoothly, Qvejr. (oi; ratbor- wder) its ashes. 

190 ST. PANCoetAB — ^PAierr and fbbbbnt. 

do fades and languishds, grows dim and dies. 
All that this world is proud o^ 

— and is not proud of, too. It had little reason to be proud 
of Our School, and has done much better since in that way^ 
and will do far better yet" 

At the opposite corner of Granby-street, with a nursery- 
man's conservatory between, is Momington Church, a modern 
iron structure, in which the Rev. T. T. Lynch preached for 
some years. Mr. Lynch was a preacher of considerable 
ability, and attracted towards himself many who appreciated 
his striking and apparently original discourses. His delivery 
was somewhat painful to persons unacquainted with his 
manner. From his peculiar style of expression, the '^ imco 
guid, and rigidly orthodox,'^ condemned him and his Hymn 
Book, *' The Rivulet,^' published in 1855 ; and a controversy 
waxed rather fiercely in Dr. Campbell^s "British Banner,'' and 
in " The Morning Advertiser," newspapers, but Mr. Lynch 
lived down all their prejudices and aspersions, and when he 
died a year or two since, it was then generally known and 
acknowledged that he had possessed the confidence, and was 
worthy of the friendship of nearly all the best ministers in 
the neighbourhood. It was also then stated that he had been 
for many years a martyr to disease and pain, which he had 
bravely endured. Under this extreme difficulty he preached 
and taught all the saving doctrines of Christianity; and 
though his language might not always have been that of 
routine orthodoxy, the ministry of his life was the best ex- 
ponent of the holy principles he firmly held and taught. 

Several of his hvmns from "The Rivulet'' have been 
inserted in other collections. From one of those hymns, the 
following verses show the piety and humility of his spirit : — 

'* Gracious Spirit ! dwell with me; 
I myself would gracious be; 
And with words that help and heali 
Would Thy life in mine reveal ; 
And with actions bold and meek^ 
Would for Christ my Saviour speak. 

Truthful Spirit f dwell with me ; 
I myself would truthful be ; 
And with wisdom kind{and dear, 
Let Th^ life in mine appear ; 
And with actions brotherly. 
Speak my Lord's* sinoerity. 



Tender Spirit ! dwell with me ; 
I myself would tender be ; 
Shut my heart up like a flower, 
At temptation's darksome hour ; 
Open it when shines the Sun» 
And His love by fragrance own. 


In Mornington Place has lived for many years the world- 
renowned George Cruikshank. For more than sixty years, 
as he sometimes says, he has by his pencil been endeavouring 
to reform the mordis of the people by showing the evils of 
certain fashions and habits. He has been called the modern 
Hogarth ; and his great picture, "The Worship of Bacchus," 
has been one of the most attractive in the South Kensington 
Museum, to which collection it has been presented by the 
artist and his friends and admirers. He has had the honour 
of describing this picture to Her Majesty the Queen, who 
has been pleased to bestow upon him a small pension out of 
the public fund, for the reward or acknowledgment of literary 
or artistic services to the nation. If the efforts of his frien<b 
who believe he has been overlooked in the bestowment of 
honours are successful, he will ere long rise up as ''Sir 
George Cruikshank." 

At the north-west end of the Hampstead Boad was formerly 
a nursery-ground, which is now the enclosed garden in front 
of Mornington Crescent, with its variety of well-grown trees 
and shrubs. On the opposite side (for several years previously 
part of an extensive field of mangold- wurtzel) is the garden of 
Harrington Square, which is similar in arrangement to its 
neighbour, the modern taste for beds of various kinds of 
geraniums, &o., being followed. 

It would be a gracious act if either some wealthy inhabi- 
tant, or, better still, if the vestry as the constituted authority 
were to cause to be placed a few seats by the rails of this 
garden fronting the road; the broad space between the 
garden and the pavement is suggestive of the practicability 
of the idea, the realisation of wmch would be a welcome pro- 
yision for the aged or the weary pedestrian. 




Thb inhabitants of the west end of the metropolis have long 
been favoured by the possession of four extensive parks, 
appropriately called the lungs of London. Not until the 
year 1850 were the same needs of the people of the east end 
considered by the opening of the Victoria Park ; and still 
more recently were those of the north provided for by the 
oharminglv situated Finsbury Park. Thus was removed the 
reproach that the teeming multitudes of Bethnal Green and 
of Finsbury and their immediate districts, consisting of 
interminable streets and courts (many of such being the 
scenes of squalor and wretchedness) were without the boon 
of some '' breathing place '' in which they might gain refresh- 
ment of body and of mind by the sight and fragrance of trees 
and flowers. 

And yet there was the possibility of a similar neglect in 
the north-west of London, had not far-seeing benevolence and 
consideration suggested the laying out of a park on a portion 
of what was then the Marylebone fields. 

Of the many thousands of all classes of the people who 
stream into the Regent's Park through the various gates^ the 
greater portion probably are unaware of the fact that only 
sixty years since (in 1811) it was a matter of debate by the 
Government whellier leases should be granted or renewed as 
formerly (the Duke of Portland's lease having then expired), 
or that a park should be provided for the enjojrment and re- 
creation of the people. Especial gratitude would no doubt 
on such consideration be felt towards Mr. White, then of 
Devonshire-place, for the part he took. He made a propo- 
sition '* that only the lower part of the site of Marylebone 
Park should be built upon ; that the buildings should terminate 


northwards with a grand crescent of lialf a mile span, in tlie 
centre of which, fronting the end of Harley-street, should 
be erected the new pari£ church of Marylebone ; and that 
the remainder of me ground^ which was ill-adapted for 
building on, should be restored to its original state, and 
converted into a Park three miles in circumference, with 
walks, drives, &c." 

The surveyor of Grown lands was directed to act upon this 
wise and beneficent proposal. Designs were made by Mr. 
James Morgan^ for the Park, terraces, gates, &c., and thus 
the area of 150 acres became for ever devoted to the use of 
all classes of the people. All honour is due to those who so 
unselfishly provided for the recreation and enjoyment of 
multitudes then unborn. Thirty years afterwards it was 
stated in a publication of the day: '^At present, the trees 
there are but yoxmg, but every year they are adding te the 
beauty of the walks and drives. The noble ranges of build- 
ings around, the commodious drives, together with the neigh- 
bouring attractions of the Diorama, the Colosseum, and the 
Zoological Gardens cannot fail to make the park popular/' 

Thanks to Lord Llanover, when, as Sir Beniamin Hall, he 
was Commissioner of Works, at the suggestionoi Prince Albert, 
he directed the beeinning of that ornamentation by means 
of flower-beds and landscape gardening, which has resulted in 
the present beautifully devised walks and beds, in which the 
choicest flowers are so artistically arranged. Other parks 
may now outvie the Regent's Park in th^ respect, but here 
was the beginning of the improvement, and with the happiest 
result, for scarcely ever has there been an instance of wilful 
destruction or robbery, though many thousands of all classes 
frequent this park in the season. 

While reposing on one of the comfortable seats, the grateful 
emotions raised may well recal the past. Looking towards 
where now stands Devonshire Mews, was the Old Manor 
House of Marylebone, which is said to have been at various 
times one of the Boyal Palaces. According to a drawing by 
Eooker, formerly in the possession of Mr. White, of Devon- 
shire Place, it was of the Elizabethan order of architecture, 
but part of it was modernised. Behind it stood, in the reign 
of Queen Anne, the famous Marylebone tea-gardens, at that 
time frequented by the nobility and gentry. In 1737 the 
gardens were opened to the general public, the price of 
admission bein|; one shilling, for which some return was 



made in refreshmeiit, and an entertainment of mnsie under 
the direction of Dr. Arnold. Afterwards it became a kind of 
B4inelagh or Yaiixhall, and in 1772 Signor Torre exhibited 
in fireworks Mount Etna in a stat» of eruption, like the 
exhibitions in later years at the Surrey Ghurdens. But there 
oame a time of degeneracy, and in 1778 the gardens were 
closed, and the site was let for building. That Manor House 
frequently changed hands. At one time it was disposed of by 
King Oharles to Sir George Strode and Squire Wandesford as 
security for a debt of some two thousand odd pounds due for 
Bupplymg arms and ammunition during the oiTil war. When 
the Commonwealth succeeded that monarch's Tiolent death, 
Marylebone Park was sold to Sir John Spencer of London as 
a means of paying Oolonel Harrison's regiment of dragoons. 
At that time tiiere were 124 deer in the park, and 2,976 trees 
to be used for the building of ships for the navy. On the 
Bestoration of Charles II. the former owners were also 
restored to the possession of the park till the debt owing 
them was discharged. 

It is recorded that, in 1760, the year in which Q^orge III. 
ascended the throne, ^' the ambassador from the Emperor of 
Bussia and other Muscovites rode through the City to Mary- 
lebone Park, and there hunted at their leisure.^' That was 
but a little more than a century since, and yet how difficult 
to realise the fact of a royal party hunting ^' at leisure " in 
the Begent's Park ! 

The grateful part proprietor of this beautiful Paric will 
not be much affected by the objections of T. B. McCuUoch in 
his Geographical Dictionary, published in 1850, when after 
describing the Begent's Park as having *^ a clay subsoil, is 
wet and badly drained," he adds, *' Neither is it what it pro- 
fesses to be, a place wholly appropriated to the aocommo- 
datioii and recreation of the public ; on the contrary, the 
public is shut out from a considerable portion of its extent, 
and some even of its finest parts have been let to indivi- 
duals who have built villas upon them! This is a gross 
abuse of the public property ; and it is astonishing that it 
shoidd have been allowed to be perpetrated, almost without 
notice.^' Since the year in which Mr. McCulloch wrote, 
very much has been done to remedy natural defects, by 
draining, &o. The public are satisfied with the beautiful 
avenues for promenading, and though the villaa may take 
away portions of l^e park, they add to HbfSj heBxdsy of th^ 

ST. PAKCRAS— f AST Alll> PRteSENT. 195 

scene^ while the owners also enjoy the great privilege of pos- 
session. At Hertford House is the clock of Old St. Dunstan's 
Churchy Fleet-street, with the figures of Gog and Magog 
who strike with their clubs the bell eyery quarter of an 
hour, which may be seen or heard in the distance. The 
villa of the late Mr. Holford, called Holford House, has been 
for some years known as the Baptist College. In the villa 
nearly opposite GHoucester Gate, lived Sir Herbert Tavlor, 
Master of St. Eatherine's Hospital. In the Church of the 
Institution there is a monumental inscription to his memory, 
which states that he ^' passed forty-two years of his life in 
the service of the Boyal Family and of his country, in 
situations, both military and civil, of the greatest responsi- 
bility and importance, which he filled 'with the most in- 
flexible integrity and acknowledged ability, having enjoyed 
the full confidence of three sovereigns and that of H. It. H« 
the Duke of York, which he repaid with the most zealous 
and unremitting devotedness to their seryice ; he retired into 
private life at the close of the reign of William IV." He 
died at Rome 20th March 1839, and ^* was interred in this 
church on 13 June." Amongst other exemplary virtues it 
is said of him, ^' that he was a strict observer of his word." 

Looking towards Primrose Hill is Barrow Hill (now a large 
reservoir belonging to the New River Company). From 
thence formerly ran westward the brook, called Ayboume, 
through the valley, said to have given the name to Maryle- 
bone. The water of that rivulet now forms the "Orna- 
mental " lake, on which pleasure boats are to be hired in 
the summer time. A few winters since many lives were 
lost by the ice breaking when crowded by skaters and 
sliders, as well as a large number of spectators. It was a 
mournful time for many families in the neighbourhood. 
The sad accident made a great impression on the public 
mind, and eventually led to the rendering such an event again 
happening almost impossible by levelling the bottom, and 
making the lake of smaller deptn. 

The central portion of the park is occupied by the gardens 
of the Royal Botanical Society, and there rank and fashion 
congregate to witness the marvellous exhibitions of flowers 
in the season. 

On the east side of the Regent's Park, near Park Square, 
is the Colosseum. It is a sixteen-sided polygonal structorei 
with a magnificent portico and oupola. The IKorama in the 



Regent's Park had done much to famiUarise the people with, 
and give them a taste for, panoramic representations, before 
the Colosseum was projected for the purpose of exhibiting a 
remarkable panoramic painting of London. It was opened 
for public exhibition in 1829, after five years' preparation, 
which ruined the projector, Mr. Homor. 'the printed account 
of the picture sums up almost all its points in the following 
words : '^ From a ballustraded gallery, and with a projecting 
frame beneath it, in exact imitation of the outer dome of 
St. Paul's Cathedral, to which the visitor may be raised by 
machinery, and be presented with a picture that cannot fau 
to create, at once, astonishment and delight ; a scene, which 
will inevitably perplex and confuse the eye and mind for 
some moments, but which on Airther examination, will be 
easily understood. It presents such a Pictorial History of 
.London, such a faithful display of its myriads of public and 
private buildings ; such an impression of the vastness, wealth, 
business, pleasure, commerce, and luxury of the English 
Metropolis, as nothing else can effect. Histories, descriptions, 
maps and prints, are all imperfect and defective, when com- 
pared to this immense panorama. They are scraps and 
mere touches of the pen and pencil ; while this imparts, at a 
glance, at one view, a clyclopaedia of information ; a concen- 
trated history ; a focal topography of the largest and most 
influential city in the world. The immense area of surface 
which this picture occupies, measures forty-six thousand 
square feet, or more than an acre in extent." Though this may 
be a coloured description, to a great extent it was true. The 
picture exhibited, at one view, ''to the eye and to the mind 
the dwellings of near a million-and-a-half of human beings, 
a countless succession of churches, bridges, halls, theatres, 
and mansions ; a forest of floating masts, and the manifold 
pursuits, occupations, and powers of its ever-active, ever- 
changing inhabitants ; " but what a change has fifty years 
effected I The million-and-a-half of inhabitants have been 
nearly doubled ; the dwellings have equally multiplied ; 
bridges, too, have been built of such a character, for strength 
and beauty unknown. What would our forefathers have 
thought of railway bridges crossing the Thames ; or even 
the existence of railways at all, that now form a network 
around London? 

A painting of Paris by Night and by Day was another 
equally stnkmg exhibition in later times. Homor's picture 



should have claimed some interest in the present day as ex- . 
hibiting a fiuthful memorial of London, mtj years ago ; but 
such is the effect of time that scarcely a bidder could be found 
lately, when this wonderful picture was for sale. The Oolosseujoi 
. itself is also doomed, and will ere long be destroyed^ with 
all its pleasant associations, adding to tne long list of changes 
which are continually passing upon all earthly things. 

In the appendix to the Fiftieth Beport of the Commissioners 
of Woods, Forests, and Land Bevenues, p. 45, in the Schedule 
of monies due to Her Majesty in respect of rents of leases 
which have been owing for a greater period than a year, it 
is stated that Thomas Hornor, lessee of the Colosseum, 
Regent's Park, held at an annual rent of £262 18s., owed 
for rent due to 10th October 1871, and unpaid on 81st March 
1872, two years-and-a-half's rent, amounting to £657 5b. ; 
and that '' certain breaches of covenant having been pom- 
mitted, the receipt of the rent has been stopped. Negocia- 
tions have been entered into for the removal of the existing 
buildings, and for the construction of dwelling-houses, &c.» 
upon the site." In the Heport for the next year, 1873, the 
amount due is £920 Ss. for three years-and-a-half 's rent, 
and '^negociations" are still going on. 

When the new and spacious docks were erected near the 
Tower of London in 1827, upwards of 800 houses were pulled 
down to make room for them. It required, however, the 
passing of an Act of Parliament to remove the St. Katherine'a 
Hospital, one of the most ancient charities in London, and 
which was amongst the buildings standing in the way of 
that improvement. 

St. Eatherine's Hospital was founded in the year 1148 by 
Matilda of Boulogne, wife of King Stephen. The appoint- 
ment of Master was in the gift of the Queen. Queen 
Eleanor, wife of Edward I. was the second foundress, and 
in addition to the master, she appointed three brethren 
chaplains, three sisters, ten poor women, and six poor clerks, 
with sustenance for all. She gave to the hospital the manor 
of Carlton, in Wiltshire and the manor of TJpchurch in 
Kent. Queen Phillippa, wife of Edward III., founded a 
chantry in connection with the hospital, and gave to the 
foundation land of the yearly value of ten pounds. It was 
then called a free chapel, a college, and a hospital for poor 
sisters. In 1527, a guild or fraternity was founded in the 

Hospitfd o^St* Eatheme tP i>^^ honour of St, Barbara, Th^ 



members of the fraternity were required to pay lOeu 4d. on 
enterinff, or within the space of six years, and it was to be 
raid eitner in money, plate, or other honest stuff. Then the 
Warden gave the brother a letter to take to the altar of 
Barbam to be registered, and he was prayed for daily by 
name ; and he receiyed a letter which guaranteed surety of 
liying, in case of falling *' into decay of worldly goods, as by 
sickness, hurt by the wars, or meet accident upon land or sea, 
or fall into poyerty ;" in that case the *' Master shall receive 
him fayourably, and there he shall haye every week 13d., 
house-room, and bedding, with a woman to wash his clothes 
and dress his meat ; and so continue year by year during 
his life, by the grace of Almighty Jesus.'' In Maitland's 
** History of London " the above quoted particulars are given 
from the rules, ending with ^^ Oiven this 1st day of December 
1527. Sir William Skevington, Enight, Master ; William 
Fxley and Robert Fisher, Wwrdens.'' 

Maitland also quotes the directions for whom the priests 
and brethren were to pray. ** And first he shall pray for the 
good estate of our Sovereign Lord and excellent Prince King 
Henry YIII. and Queen Eatherine, founders of the said 
guild and brotherhood, and brother and sister of the same. 
Also ye shall pray for the good estate of Thomas Wolsey, of 
the title of St. Cecil of Rome, Priest, Cardinal, and Legatus 
or latere to our holy father the Pope." For the Dukes of 
Buckingham and Norfolk, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and '^ all 
ladyes and brethren of the same ;" '' and for the souls of all 
brothers and sisters that be aUve, and for the souls of all 
brothers and sisters that be dead.^' ^^And for the more 
special grace let every man say a paternoster and an ave. 
And God save the Eing, the Master Wardens, and all brothers 
and sisters of the same." 

With a view to promote trade and industry, a fair was 
allowed to be held by this hospital on Tower Hill the day after 
the feast of St. James, &c. When Henry VIII. dissolved all 
religious houses, this one shared the same fate on 4fli Febru- 
aij 1631 ; the l^pspital and church being allowed to remain, 
with many of ite privileges, and there the charity continued tiU 
the site was cleared for the docks, and then it was removed to 
ite present site in 1829. 

There is nothing to justify the application of *' Hospitel '^ 
to the present institution. Her Majesty ii the patroness^ 
and there are three '^brethrm chaplains " and three ^ aistfiors '* 


who haTe in some capacity or other served Her Majesty ; there 
is also a Eree School for some seventy boys and girls, who 
are selected by the brethren and sisters, and are educated, 
clothed and apprenticed. The *' prayers for the souls of all 
brothers and sisters that be alive'' are no longer offered, 
save in the general Liturgy read in the Collegiate Chapel 
where some 300 persons meet for worship ; but uiose prayers 
** for all those brothers and sisters that be dead " are neces- 
sarily forbidden, for there is not the slightest tendency to 
Bomanism, the service also being very ''Low Church'' 
indeed. And the funds for the support of the present insti- 
tution (which would not be recognised as that founded by 
the wife of King Stephen 700 years ago^ or as that 400 years 
afterwards, when there was a provision for ** sickness, hurt 
by the wars, accident, or poverty " for the guild of poor 
brethren) which funds must be very large as they arise from 
landed property, are absorbed by the modem Church and 
Schools, without any apparent constituency to make enquiry, 
or receive a^ report, for none seems to be necessary in the 
modem St. Catherine's Hospital. 

On the north side of the park are the Zoological Gardens. 
Perhaps Mr. McCuUoch's objection to the misappropriation 
of space would be removed as far as these Gbrdens are con* 
cemed, provision being made for the poorest classes to avail 
themselves of the amusement and instruction they afford, and 
on every fine Monday and 6n holidays, for sixpence, may be 
seen an exhibition wnich for completeness and attractiveness 
was altogether unknown to our grandfathers. 

The Zoological Society of London was founded in 1825, 
and was supported by the subscriptions of the fellows or 
members. Admission to their gardens at first was confined 
to the members of the Society, who had also the privilege of 

g'ving orders, which were available on payment of an entrance 
9 ; afterwards the public were admitted on payment of one 
shilling only ; but when the reduction was made to sixpence 
on Mondays and at holiday times, the gardens became 
literally crowded. Ko expense is spared to introduce speci- 
mens from all quarters of the world. The young hippo- 
potamus, bom in the gardens, has proved to be a most 
attractive introduction. The collection is esteemed as the 
rarest and most extensive in Europe. During the summer 
Bumths the flower-beds and shrubs transplanted from the 


gardens of the Horticultural Society, present a most attractiye 
feature in this unrivalled place of recreation and also of in- 

Primrose Hill is said to haye been so named from the 
abundance of primroses once to be found there. It is cele- 
brated in history from the fact of the body of Sir Edmond 
Bury G-odfrey haying been found in the fields near the Hill. 
This occurred in 1678, a period when Popish plots, pretended 
and real, were agitating the countnr. Sir Edmond was 
supposed to have been concerned in tne plot of Titus Oates, 
and the fact of his burning large quantities of papers favoured 
the suspicion. He had always been, too, a partisan of the 
Catholics. In a letter to Mr. Miles Prance in 1681, it is 
stated that his body was found in *' a ditch on the south side 
of Primrose Hill, surrounded by divers closes, fenced with 
high mounds and ditches; no road near, only some deep, 
dirty lanes, not coming near 500 yards of the place, and im- 
possible for any man on horseback, with a dead corpse before 
him^ at midnight, to approach, unless gaps were made in the 
mounds, as the constable and his assistants found from ex- 
perience when they came on horseback thither.'' The case 
was involyed in so much mystery, that whether he was 
murdered, or died by his own hand from fear of discoyery, 
was never satisfactonly known. 

The St. Panoras Volunteers of 1799, on stated days, used 
to march to Chalk Farm to fire at a target which was at the 
foot of Primrose Hill on the south side. The successful 
marksman was the winner of a silver cup subscribed for by 
the corps. That stone target remained for many years after 
it ceased to be used by the Yolunteers. Then followed the 
cruel sport of pigeon shooting, which was indulged in for a 
few years. 

For many years this spot was the scene of duels, then 
thought to be a necessity to proye the possession of honour. 
Colonel Montgomery expired in a room of the tavern in 
1803, and Lieutenant Bailey was killed in 1818. One of 
the latest and most sorrowful was that between Christie and 
Scotty in March 1821, in which the latter, editor of the then 
celebrated '^ London Magazine " was killed. 

There was another hill adjoining Primrose Hill, called 
Barrow Hill, not, as William Hewitt says, another name 
for the same hill. It was supposed to haye been formed 


from being a burial-place after some great battle. It is 
now used as a reservoir by the New Biver Oompanj, as 
before stated. 

Chalk Farm, Howitt supposes to be probably a corruption 
of Chalcote Farm, the Chalcote estate extending thence to 
Belsize-lane. There is no chalk in the neighbourhood to 
originate the name. 

In the remembrance of many persons still living, there 
was a pathway to it, across a pleasant field, from a lane by 
the side of the canal bridge near the Hampstead Eoad turn- 
pike, but the London and Birmingham Eailway entirely 
changed the aspect of that once favourite resort. The gardens 
of Chalk Farm were separated by a roadway from the tavern, 
which, with its long assembly room used for public dinners 
and balls, were eventually destroyed. Houses and shops 
instead are now passed by the frequenters of the greatly 
improved Primrose Hill. Gravel walks now cross this 
healthful resort in various directions, while myriads of gas 
lamps give a remarkable aspect to the scene around as viewed 
from its summit by night. 

During the agitation against the introduction of Poor 
Law '* Bastiles " as the unions T^ere then feared to become, a 
series of three monster meetings were held on Primrose Hill, 
addressed by the Eev. Joseph Rayner Stephens, from Lan- 

Forty, thirty, even but twenty years ago. Primrose Hill was 
the resort of the roughest and rudest classes of people, at holi- 
day time and on Sundays. A certain class pf caterers for the 
bodily wants of the multitude then made a din with their 
cries, the remembrance of which contrasts most unfavourably 
with the conduct of the orderly law-abiding people who now 
frequent the hill and repose on the grass or on the excellent 
seats around its summit. 

The change is due to the late Lord Llanover when Com- 
missioner of Works. The hill was then secured for the 
benefit of the public. That innovator, the builder, has now 
completely surrounded the base of the hill, save in the 
direction of the increasingly beautiful Regent's Park. But, 
it must be confessed, we have lost the views of Hampstead 
and Highgate. True we can see their church steeples and 
the trees around them above the roofs of the houses which 
cover the once beautiful meadows. The following picture of 

203 srr. PANCBA9--9A«f Aif» ntanarp. 

Hampstead by Leigh Hunt as seen from Primrose Hill u of 
the past ; bat the description of the '^ within " of Hampstead 
is, happily, still of the present : — 

''A steeple ianiing from » leafy xIm, 
With fanny fields in fronts and alopiog greeiif 
Dear Hampetead, is thy southern face serene. 
Silently szniling on approaching eyes. 
Within, thine eyer-shifting looks surprise^ 
Streets, hills« and dells, trees overhead now seen. 
Now down below, with smoking roof between,— 
A village, revelling in varieties. 
Then northwards, what a range — ^with heath and pond. 
Nature's own ground ; woods that let mansions iavougb. 
And cottaged vales, with pillowy fields beyond 
And dump of darkening pines, and proc^iects blue. 
And that dear path through all, where daily meet 
Cool cheeky, and brilliant vjm, and mom^eJaBtio feet." 




When in tlie neighbourliood of Hayerstock Hill, Steele's 
Cottage is instinctiTely recalled to remembrance by many 
who now see in its stead a terrace of sbops, and Steele's 
Bead. The cottage stood where the new road is now made. 
When Steele was hiding from his duns in that cottage (about 
150 years ago) the members of the Kit Kat Club (called 
after the name of the landlord of the coffee-house where their 
meetings were held, — Christopher Kat), consisting of Addi- 
son, Congpreve, Garth, Yanbrugh, and other wits and dis- 
tinguished members of the Whig party of that day, used to 
call for Steele on the way to their meeting place at Hamp- 
stead. The club met at its summer dinner parties at what 
was then known as the Upper Flask Inn, but which was 
afterwards conyerted into a priyate dwelling house, becoming 
the residence of G-eorge Bteeyens, the commentator on 
Shakspere, who, Leigh Hunt said, '' used to walk to London 
eyery morning at day- break to correct the press/' It is still 
a pnyate resiaenoe ; a long low house with trees before it, 
situated at the top of the mil near the turning down into the 
Vale of Health. 

Sir Richard Steele was a man of impulsiye warm-hearted-i 
ness ; one who *' wore his heart upon his sleeye ;'' a contrast 
to Addison, of whom it had been said, '* he went to heay^i 
as he would haye gone to court, dressed in his most becoming 
graces a la mode, and preparing himself for a good recep- 
tion, if not by the consciousness of his rank, by the smiling 
zeal of his deference, and the politeness of his security/' 
Perhaps Leigh Himt was too seyere in that description of 
Addison ; but the contrast between him and Steele, no doubt 
was as great as between Dr. Johnson and Dr. Goldismith, the 
latter bearing resemblance in some respects to Sic Bichard 


To Steele especially we feel indebted for the creation of a 
class of literature, just 160 years ago, which presents a 
picture of society as it then existed ; presented, too, in so 
charming a style, that it has been well said to be a model of 
pure English. He was born in Dublin in the year 1671 ; 
educated at the Charterhouse, in London, he then remoyed 
to Merton College^ Oxford, and afterwards became an ensign 
in the G-uards. He first attracted public attention as an 
author by his comedies, ^^The Tender Husband," ''The 
Lying Loyer/' &c., but became more prominent by his 
political writings, and was expelled the House of Oommons, 
of which be was a member, on account of publishing two 
pamphlets, supposed to contain treasonable sentiments. 

Beceiyed into fayour by George I, he was knighted in 1715, 
and held a lucratiye office ; but subsequently suffered much 
from penury, caused mainly by his speculating projects. He 
retired into Wales a few years before his death, which took 
place in 1729. 

' Steele and Addison influenced yery materially the age in 
which they liyed, which was one of fierce political and re- 
ligious strife ; and, as Charles Knight well says, " under 
their periodical companionship, many a fiery Templar was 
calmed by the pleasant lessons that he read as he sipped his 
morning chocolate ; and many a court beauty was taught 
that there were more graceful and enduring charms than 
those of the female politician." 

Addison himself in his '' Freeholder/' a series of political 
essays, says of the Tatlers and Spectators that '' they diyerted 
raillery from improper objects, and gaye a new turn to ridi* 
cule, which for many years had been exerted on things of a 
sacred and serious nature. Our nation are such loyers of 
mirth and humour, that it is impossible for any detached 
papers, which come out on stated days, either to haye a 
general run or long continuance, if they are not diyersified 
and enlightened from time to time, with subjects and thoughts 
accommodated to this taste which so much preyails among our 
countrymen. I^o periodical author who always maintains 
his grayity, and does not sometimes sacrifice to the Graces, 
must expect to keep in yogue for any considerable time." 
One great yalue of those papers is that they giye us real 
pictures of the eyery-day life of their time. They also reflect 
the general character of the people in the first quarter of the 
eighteenth century. It is well| therefore^ to look back upon 


the past, and the contrast with the present is vastly in our 

Instead of the open country around the cottage in which 
Steele sought relief from care 150 years since, Haverstock 
Hill is now covered by crescents and lines of elegant villas 
and modem buildings. The suggestive sign of the *' Load 
of Hay'' originally and until within a few years past a road- 
side inn, standing back from the road, and a tea-garden in 
the rear, iisi now a modern gin-palace. St. John's Park and 
Maitland Park have no direct communication with the town, 
which has sprung up eastward, of stucco-fronted houses 
already in a state of decay, where, aforetime, pathways 
through verdant pasture land led to Hampstead. Here, also, 
are now several institutions, various in their objects, in the 
line of road called Southampton Eoad, but at the first these 
institutions stood alone. 

The first which meets the view, is the Orphan Working 
School. Its benevolent existence as an institution commenced 
in a small house at Hoxton on 10th May 1758, receiving 
twenty poor orphan and destitute boys, and afterwards the 
same number of girls. Three houses were eventually taken 
for the reception of the continually increasing number, and 
at length a building was erected, in 1773, in •the City Road, 
at that time a suburban part of London. In that building, 
originally intended for 70 children, the number was increased 
to 137 in the year 1846. The present building was opened 
in 1847, and was intended for 240 children ; it was enlarged 
in 1860, to accommodate 400. To the end of 1873, 2,910 
orphans have been received into the School, more than half 
that number having been admitted since the removal to 
Haverstock Hill. 

Originally the term ^' Working *' was strictly applicable 
to the institution. When those fourteen gentlemen, city 
merchants and men of business, met, to found it on the 10th 
of May 1758, at the " George ^' Inn, Ironmonger-lane, their 
chief idea was not so much to educate as to teach to work ; 
hence the name. The children were taught shoemaking, 
garden net making, and list carpet making, and their em- 
ployment continued eight hours a day. Several years elapsed 
before anything but reading was taught, and when it was 
proposed to add cyphering, a sub-committee recommended 
that the children might go as far as addition. About the 
year 1838^ work gave pkce to education of a higher and 


more comprehensive character. Elementary drawings and 
other subjects were added, and at the examination at the 
Goyernment Science and Art department, South Kensington, 
in 1867, out of 161 boys who competed in drawing, 71 
obtained prizes. Indeed, of 588 schools, the Orphan Work- 
ing School ffained the highest number of prizes. The high 
character of their schools is not only still maintained but has 
considerably advanced in every branch of study. The Report 
for 1873 by Mr. Saunders, Inspector of the Borough Bead 
School^ concludes by stating, '^ I have found no schools on 
the whole more efficient than those on Haverstock Hill, nor 
do I think that in more than two or three instances I have 
found schools equal to them." 

There are two departments in which the girls are educated ; 
the domestic, in which they are trained in household duties, 
at 12 years of age, under the superintendence of a matron, 
taking their turn in laundry work. Sec. ; and the girls' school, 
in three divisions. Besides the usual instruction in reading, 
writing, arithmetic, Scripture, history, grammar, geography, 
&c., they greatly excel in plain needlework ; the use of the 
sewing machine is only permitted to the house girls. All the 
making and repair of garments worn bv the children is done 
in the school, and all the laundry work is done in the house, 
in which the elder girls take part. To make the school- 
rooms pleasant and cheerful, the windows are abimdantly 
supplied with plants, especially in summer ; and even in the 
depths of winter the rooms are much enlivened by the warb- 
lings of canaries and other songsters. In the girls' play- 

f round are small garden plots for the cultivation of flowers 
y the children. The ''Educational Becord," for April 
1872, says, *' We cannot speak too favourably of the moral 
and religious influence exerted by the head mistress over 
those committed to her charge ; and it is very pleasing to 
notice how thoroughly she has secured their love. Though 
very undemonstrative in manner, her devotion to her work 
is conspicuous, and cannot fail to produce lasting fruit." 

Ohildren are eligible for admission between seven and eleven 
years of age, provided they are in good health, and have 
neither been the inmates of a workhouse or a prison. The 
boys remain in the school until 14 years of age, or longer, if 
their conduct is unexceptionable, when they are placed out 
in situations or as apprentices, if suitable opportunities offer, 
with «a outfit of the value ot£6. The girls remain untS 

8T. nnORAS— FAST Ain> PUaBXHT. 307 

tlity are 15 or 16 years of age, depending upon good eondnot, 
wlien they *' go out as teachers, nursery goyemesses, oom- 
panionSy house and parlour maids, but not as general ser- 
vants, as the rules proyide they shall only go where another 
servant is kept. Leaving so young renders this rule neces- 
sary. The children reoeiye a religious, useftd, and suitable 
education. A large portion of them haye been placed in 
situations, in which they haye by industry and good conduct, 
obtained not only* a oomfortable liyelihood, but some haye 
risen to influential positions in society; among them are 
ministers, merchants, solicitors, and one a barrister, and 
naturally many of them are now goyemors of the charity. 

A yaluable statistical report is published by the committee, 
showing the average cost per chud for the past twelve years, 
— ^under the sevem heads: provision, fuel and washing, 
ing, clothing, salaries and wages, and sundry other charges. 
The total amount is £22 13s. lOfd. of which the first item 
is £8 19s. S^d. thus proving that with a full and generous 
diet a large establishment may be made to cost comparatively 
little, if well managed, as this institution undoubtedly is. 

Ten thousand pounds are required annually to maintain the 
institution in efficiency, and to receive the full complement 
of 400 children. Four-fifths of the amount is derived 
from voluntary contributions, one-fifth b^g the proceeds 
of rentals of the City Road and Maitland Pa» estates, and 
some railway and other stock, tiie gifts of benevolent friends 
of the institution. 

The admirable site and healthy position of the building, 
is seen in the small percentage of deaths, and in the few 
oases of sickness therein; in proof of this, the surgeons' 
report for the year ending January 1874, states that ** re- 
membering that many of the parents have died of diseases 
likely to be transmitted to their offspring, the freedom £rom 
disease and the general good health of the children speaks 
weU for the situation of me building and the general manage- 
ment of the institution. 

The religious services at the institution night and mom« 
ing, and on the Lord's Day, are always very impressive. 
The latter are conducted by clergymen, ministers and friends, 
of various denominations, thus maintaining the unseotarian 
nature of the institution, and are much appreciated by the 
children and officers. At the Tuesday morning seryiee, the 

208 8T. PAKCKAfl— PAST AND PiaSflBMT. 

majority of the members of the House Comnittee^are always 
present at a quarter to eight, summer and winter. 

It has long been a custom for the children who have here 
received their education to hold correspondence with their 
former teachers in this school ; a praiseworthy habit, which 
keeps aliye the gratitude of the scholars, and also enables 
the teachers and managers to learn something of the results 
of their care and influence. One boy, a printer's apprentice, 
writes, and sends in type, the following illustration of faith- 
fulness to principle : — '^ Mr. Fox will be happy to hear that I 
have not broken the pledge I made whilst in the school ; 
although, as I expected, I do get a little teazing about it; 
and I wish the greatest success in persuading more boys to be 
teetotalers." Truthfulness and a sense of honour, besides a 
kindly philanthropy, has evidently been implanted in his case. 

Another illustration showing grateful regard for the school 
was seen last year in a former scholar, now James Macassey, 
Esq., Barrister-at-law, of New Zealand, presiding at a meet- 
ing of 250 old scholars, and distributing the prizes. Many 
olher cases are made known of success in life attended with 
substantial remembrance of the institution which laid the 
foundation for that success. Several are now training for 
missionary work at home and abroad. The founders of one 
of the largest drapery establishments in London were two 
boys educated and apprenticed from this school. 

In June 1873 nearly all the children were taken to 
Margate, where they had for the first time in their lives a 
glimpse of the '^ bright blue sea/' Their singing and drill 
exercise on that occasion attracted much public attention. 

One of the most direct modes of calling public notice to 
the claims of the school is a Lecture illustrating the inner 
working of the School by views shown by lime Bght. The 
Committee have got this up at considerable cost and it is very 
effective; ofwhi^ it is said in the Beport : '^ People have 
been astonished to find that the Orphan Working School has 
existed for more than a century, and yet have never heard of it.'' 

There were 348 children in the School in 1873, of whom 
79 left during the year, who were replaced by 76 others, 
who were elected, or admitted on life presentation or on 
payment. That number has been so increased that at the 
time of preparing this statement there were 389 in the 


The mode of election is discussed in tlie last Report, and 
a decided preference is given to the present mode, as it is 
** beneficial to the friends of the children to a far greater 
degree than any proposed method of selection, as the can- 
vassing for votes necessarily brings the distresses of the 
widows and their families before a larger number of benevo- 
lent friends^ who, in numberless instances, not only help the 
individual cases brought before them, but a second and a third 
child has been placed into this and similar institutions, and the 
widow helped into a position to earn her own livelihood ; 
also, during the last ten years four out of every five candi-*^ 
dates have been elected." The experience of 116 years also 
serves to prove that in a pecuniary sense *' the present 
system oi^ election far surpasses the close* and unhealthy 
system of selection '' of the earlier days of the institution. 
Three-fourths of all the applicants during the past ten yeara 
have been admitted, and of the remainder many more will be 
elected during the present year (1874). 

It is interesting to trace the gradual expansion of this 
institution as the claims upon it increased. It has tested the 
truth of the principle to which it has appealed — the succour 
of the helpless ; the plaintive cry of the orphan has been 
heard, and a home provided for many hundreds of such in 
this invaluable asylum. Humble in its origin^ it has yet for 
many years been aided by Royal patronage. Though this 
fact is gratifying in many respects, it may mislead some who 
are as yet unacquainted with the sources from which its in* 
come has been mainly derived. The principal support has 
been provided by the untitled, though noble sympathisers 
with the orphan and those who had no helper. The Infant 
Orphanage at Homsey Rise was originated in 1864 by the 
Secretary of this institution, as it was seen to be a necessary 
part of the object in view to provide *' for the infant orphans 
of respectable but poor persons.^' The home principle is 
adopted as nearly as possible by having separate houses to 
contain 25 children. There is an excellent managing com* 
mittee ; but the main cause of success of both these institu- 
Ijions, humanly speaking, is the Secretary. To the earnest 
indeed enthusiastic e£Ebrts of Mr. Joseph Soul may be attri- 
buted the highly successful condition of the Orphw Working 
School and of its oflf-shoot the Alexandra Orphanage of which 
he is the Honorary Secretary, and he is at the present time 
collecting money for the erection of a Convalescent Home at 


Margatei which when complete he will present for the benefit 
of the orphans in these institutions. Need we add he is 
always open to receive contributions at his office, 73 Cheap- 

On part of the estate at Haverstock Hill is the Haverstock 
Congregational Chapel, in which for many years the Rev, 
John Nunn has continued to minister to a large congregation. 
Many of the elder children from the School worship here on 
the Lord's Bay, and their orderly behaviour and correct 
singing is a gratifying fact to their teachers. The chapel is 
a modem Oothic building, and a school-room of the same 
style of architecture bus been erected near to it. 

The feelings awakened by the claims of the orphan, and 
the provision made for their necessities in such institutions 
as that of the Orphan Working School, may be -compared to 
those which the season of spring calls forth. Great responsi- 
bility rests upon those who have the training of so large an 
assemblage, the majority of whom will ere long become en- 
gaged in the active business of life. It is the season of hope. 
But far different thoughts arise on turning towards the east 
of Haverstock-hill, and surveying the Almshouses for Aged 
and Infirm Journeymen Tailors. The conflict of life is past, 
and the winter, too often of *' discontent/' is alone to be seen. 
Still winter has its pleasures, and when the alleviations and 
comforts of that season are present how much cause is there 
for thankfulness for the refuge of old age in such an asylum 
as the Tailors' Almshouses. 

Almshouses formerly owed their existence to the bequests 
of pious individuals whose names in many instances have 
been handed down to posterity ; but some forty years since 
it entered into the minds of the journeymen connected with 
many trades to found institutions for the aged and infirm of 
their own fraternity, among which were the drapers, the 
poulterers and fishmongers, the printers, and in fact the 
guilds and incorporations of workmen all over the country, 
and especially in the outskirts of London. The list of Metro- 
politan charities published in the ** Times '' a few years agO; 
represents only a part of the provision made for the relief of 
the poor and destitute. Beyond these there are gifts and 
loans, and burial moneys applicable to the brethren- 
artisans of the freemasons, oddfellows, druids, old friends, 
foresters^ &c., together with pension or annuity funds belong- 


ing to the several bodies of associated trades ; and among 
tliese may be classed the commercial travellers; watch and 
clock makers, goldsmiths and jewellers, cheesemongers, the 
building trades, furniture brokers, omnibus servants, &c. 
Why, then, should not the tailors have their asylum also ? 

This question was solved by a few of the Journeymen early 
in the year 1837, who solicited the aid of their employers 
towards founding an asylum for the relief of the aged and 
infirm among their fellows ; and so warmly was the appeal 
responded to, as well on the part of masters and men as 
on that of woollen drapers, button makers, trimming sellers, 
and others connected with the clothier's trade, that funds 
were speedily procured, and before the year had expired a 
benevolent institution was established and enrolled '^ accord- 
ing to the Act in such case made and provided,'' " for the 
establishment of a fund for the relief of aged and sick journey- 
men tailors, and the widows of pensioners, for the erection of 
an asylum for the reception of such journeymen tailors, and, 
if married when elected, their wives also,'' without the did of 
royal patronage, and with no other support than such as arose 
legitimately out of the trade itself ; an annual subscription of 
seven shillings, or a fraction over three half-pence per week, 
to secure to the provident journeymen a pension of £20 16s. 
a year, as well as coals, medicine, and medical attendance — 
benefits which were to be available to journeymen tailors of 
all nations and creeds who should have been incapacitated for 
labour and have subscribed for a given length of time to the 

In 1842, five years afterwards, the west front of the 
Asylum was erected, and the north front in 1846. The free- 
hold site for the building, together with the cost for the 
erection of six of the houses and the chapel, as also the en- . 
dowment of the latter, was the munificent gift of the late 
president, John Stulz, Esq., in addition to £1,582 15s. 
There is no building debt to encumber the estate, which has 
belonging to it freehold ground sufficient for additional 
buildings, if they should be considered necessary. In the 
meanwhile an increasing ground rent is received. 

In consequence of the munificence of Mr. Stulz, a founda- 
tion for two pensioners was created — called after his name^ 
which presentation is in the gift of Mr. Stulz's heirs, &c., 
from among the admitted candidates. 

The great wealth of the Stulz family and firm, in Clifford- 



street, Bond-street, is called to remembranoe by tHe xnnnifi- 
cent act of the late president of the Tailors' Asylum towards 
that institution. It was, we believe, his brother who retired 
to the south of France, where he died in 1882, after a few 
years' residence. He was created Baron Stulz. His present 
of £40,000 to the Emperor of Austria, to do as he pleased 
with, obtained for him in return the Order of Maria Theresa 
and the patent as Count Gothenburg. He had great wealth 
in the bank of Yienna (Rothschild's) ; his estate at Aaires, in 
France, cost him £100,000 ; he possessed another estate near 
Baden, on the Ehine; and his other property exceeded 

If tailoring produced for him this enormous wealth, it was 
but fitting that those who enabled him to realise it should be re- 
membered when unable, by age and infirmity, to gain a sub- 
sistence. It would appear by the list of subscribers that by 
far the greater amount is subscribed by the employers. If it 
is true that the first donation was the surplus arising from 
subscriptions by them to defeat the men at the time of the 
first disastrous strike, then it was a graceful act, and good 
has arisen out of evil. 

The published list of names of several deceased benefactors 
of the asylum shows that many others have also contributed 
very liberally. The name of Hinchcliffe appears for £1,000, 
Houseley, £1,215 ; Jarvis, Braid, and Anstey, £600 each, 
and Cartwright, £730, besides many others for smaller sums. 

The institution needs over £2,000 yearly to sustain its 
efficiency, more than half of which amount is obtained by 
subscriptions and an annual dinner. The working expenses 
appear to be sufficiently moderate. More than three hun- 
dred pensioners have been placed on the funds of the institu- 
tion since its foundation. Each male pensioner is allowed 
£20 16s. a year, with coals and medical attendance ; the last 
item being an important matter to aged and affiicted people. 
On examining the list of candidates, from which additional 
pensioners are elected, it appears that impaired vision is the 
almost universal complaint. It has been said that tailors are 
by no means a short-lived class, their average life being cal- 
culated to be longer than painters, wheelwrights, compositors, 
and even agricultural labourers. 

The Asylum is a handsome red brick building, consisting 
of ten houses of eight rooms each, and a chapel in the centre, 
in which a resident clergyman performs divine service twice 


on Sundays. There is also an infirmary, erected in 1847, for 
the reception of infirm single men. The asylum is surrounded 
by a pleasant lawn in front and a garden in the rear. The 
rooms are commodious and cheerful. 

A visit to the chapel one Sunday morning led the writer 
to ask one of the congregation, at the close of the servicCi 
where were the tailors r He was informed that a certain 
number of seats were appropriated to them, but that only 
about eight of them attended. The appearance of the 
assembly warranted the truth of the statement ; it was that 
of an ordinary Church of England congregation. 

No one is justified in finding fault with the placing a 
chapel as a part of the institution, as it was paid for and 
endowed by Mr. Stulz, of which benevolence a painted 
window is the memorial ; but when it is stated that ^* the 
benefits of the institution are available to the journeymen 
tailors of every nation and creed/' it appears contradictory ; 
and an on-looker might think that the space might now be 
appropriated for some of the necessarily rejected applicants. 
There are churches and chapels of all denominations close at 
hand for those inmates who are able to attend them, without 
any invidious distinction or separation. 

When the Asylum was opened, in 1842, it was delight- 
fully situated, close to the pleasant fields on the way to Pond- 
street, Hampstead. A few years later the Orphan School 
became a near neighbour^ and gradually buildings increased, 
tm now both institutions are surrounded, the fields are 
covered, and one part of Mother Shipton's prophecy of the 
termination of all sublunary things when London and Hamp- 
stead are connected by houses, wiU ere long be fulfilled. 

The story of the Tancred Charity, related in a Blue Book 
printed for the House of Commons, in 1867, made known the 
fact that twelve disappointed old gentlemen, in constant 
. daily intercourse, afflicted with infirmities of body and mind 
(and temper) natural to them, could not make themselves 
happy. Public investigations into their quarrels and certain 
accusations against some of their number brought the charity 
to be considered a nuisance. Experience proved in this case 
that external advantages could not of themselves confer 
happiness, and that the conditions of the bestowal and the 
peculiar character of the recipients prevented the bequeathal 
of the donor's own happy and contented disposition. This 


gentleman, Christopher Tancred, enjoyed a beautiful estate 
at Whixley, near York, and bequeathed it in trust for twelve 
inmates, requiring only that candidates should be either 
gentlemen by birth, or professional men, who had become 
reduce:! in circumstances, and whoso characters justified 
their selection ; the trustees were to be officially connected 
with Oxford IJ^niversity. 

Many tales of discontent would be told if the inmates of 
similar charities were in a position to complain. We are not, 
therefore, to discourage benevolent intentions, but rather to 
remind those who have the care and supervision of such in- 
stitutions that the old age of indigent persons of good educa- 
tion and perhaps former independence necessarily brings 
with it discontent at the inglorious termination of their l2e 
struggles, and that happiness of mind requires to be ministered 
to even moro than the comforts of the body. 

In going through the wards of the St. Pancras Workhouse 
some time since^ an old man, past the allotted three*score 
years and ten,, complained to the writer of the bad language 
he was compelled to hear. No wonder there is a strong dis- 
inclination on the part of those who have seen better days to 
enter such places. — The company and its associations make 
all the difiPerence. 

Considerations of this character led Dr. Donald Fraser, in the 
year 1850, when senior churchwarden of St. Pancras, to con- 
vene a meeting of a few philanthropic gentlemen at his 
house, when a scheme was projected for founding *^ Alms- 
houses for about one hundred of those decayed, but respect- 
able parishioners who, at the close of lives spent in arduous 
but imsuccessful struggles for maintenance, find themselves 
reduced to the alternative of sinking under want and priva- 
tion or of accepting the painful and humiliating position of 
inmates of the workhouse."' A committee was formed, and 
£1,500 having been collected, a piece of freehold ground was 
purchased for £1,000 of the committee of the Governesses 
Asylum, adjoining their institution, in what was then Graf- 
ton-place, now the Prince of Wales' Bead. 

The original almshouses are still in existence, forming part 
of what is now called Wilkin-street, and are let off by the 
Hampstead and City Junction Railway Company. This 
railway passed obliquely through the eastern portion of the 
centre buildings and across the land which formed the front 
garden or lawn of the institution. The compensation of 


£2,350 was offered by the company, and refused. The Court 
held that the railway company was compelled to take only 
such portion as they required, and on appeal the trustees 
were defeated ; but the Ix)rds Justices Court reversed the 
decision, it being held that compensation shoidd be awarded 
to the yalue of the entire property when any portion des- 
troyed rendered the whole valueless for its original purpose. 
TTpon this judgment the Court directed the matter to be re- 
ferred to tne Sheriffs* Court, where, in May 1858, the jury 
returned a verdict in favour of the trustees for a sum of 
£6,000, and £900 to cover costs. 

A plot of freehold ground was then obtained on the north 
side of the Orphan Working School, Haverstock Hill, for 
£1,300. At Lady Day, 1861 (four of the new almshouses 
being completed), the alms men and women were removed 
from Grafton-place to the present building in Southampton 
Road, Maitland Park. 

On the external wall of the first house facing the road is a 
tablet with the following inscription ; 

Supported by voluntary contributions. 

To the Glory of God, 

And for the comfort of poor old Parishionercf, 

These almshouses were projected by Donald Fraser, Esq., M.D., 

And, by the willing aid of public benevolence, 

Were founded A.D. 1850, 

And rebuilt on this site A.D. 1859. 

Rev. Canon Dale, M.A. Vicar. 

Henry Baker, architect. 

" Cast me not off in the time of old age. 

Forsake me not when my strength faileth.*' 

The means from which the endowment fund is derived, like 
the institution itself, are voluntary, except a sura of money 
at the disposal of the Directors of the poor of St. Pancras, 
amounting to about £30 a year, arising from the rents of 
land at Kentish Town, given about the year 1658, by Eleanor 
Palmer, for the poor of this parish. A monumental brass 
still remains in the church at Ohipping-Barnet to the memory 
of this lady, who was daughter to Edward Cheeseman, of 
Dorman's Well, Middlesex, ''Coferar*' (an office similar 
to our modem Paymaster of the Household) to Henry VIII. 
Eleanor's second husband was John Palmer, of Kentish Town. 
Her fourth son, Jerome, married Eleanor, daughter of 
William Lord Paget. Jerome had large landed possessions 
in Kentish Town, in ttte reign of Elizabeth. The land from 
the rent of which this gift to the poor of St. Pancras^ is 


derived) is tliat on whioli Fortess-terrace is built, two-thirds 
of the proceeds going to the poor of Chipping-Bamet, and 
the remaining one-third to the poor of !Eentish Town. It. 
was formerly distributed on the 1st January in each year, 
by tickets for five shillings to such as were thought most 
deserving : but in 1862 it was resolved in vestry assembled 
to appropriate the rents of the Fortess Field estate to the St. 
Pancras Almshouses. 

The first house at the centre wing of the St. Pancras 
Almshouses is therefore occupied by the '^ Palmer '' inmates, 
consisting of one married couple and three single personSi 
elected by the Directors of the Poor, the first election being 
on the 25th of January 1853. 

The north wing of the building was erected in 1863, as 
recorded on a tablet on the first house, through the liberality 
of Henry Aste, Esq., and benevolent friends. 

The ground-floor apartments are well contrived for the 
married couples. The partition which separates the bed 
room from the sitting room is more than two feet below the 
ceiUng. The sitting room has in it a range with oven and 
boiler, and water is laid on on each floor. 

The lawn in the centre adds much to the beauty of the 

l£e most excellent object of the benevolent founder. Dr. 
Fraser, was worthy of far more regard than it at first received. 
It was intended to provide an asylum for about one hundred 
persons who had seen better days, and whose respectable 
characters should protect them from accepting the painful 
and humiliating position of inmates of the worUiouse. The 
building capable of containing that number was erected, and, 
for some years, for want of simcient funds, more than half of 
it was occupied by lodgers, paying rent, and only about 
forty-five apartments were appropriated to the legitimate 
object for which they were built. But now (1873^ all the 
rooms are occupied oy those for whom they were mtended, 
thanks to the energy of the Secretary and Committee. 

Some information respecting the local events which have 
happened, and references to the former condition of the 
parish and neighbourhood may be gleaned here, and the 
kindly dicmosed visitor will be gratified by the evident 
pleasure of the aged inmate in recalling past scenes and 
awakening memories of perhaps far happier days. The visit 
of a br%ht little boy or girl, too, is always welcomoi and thus 


the dalness and gloom too often associated with age may be 
alleyiated by a visit to the St. Paacras Almshouses. 

Adjoining the Almshouses is the Dominican Church which 
was opened on October 20, 1867, when Dr. Wiseman, the 
"Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster " was present, with 
nearly one hundred priests. The present erection bears the 
appearance of being but a part of a great plan. In the 
adjoining waste ground are partly erected marble pillars 
evidently intended for a grand building. The energy and 
life which usually marks the Roman Catholic Church in a 
Protestant country is apparent here, and the manifestation 
of such qualities ensures respect in Protestants for the men ; 
but can scarcely render them satisfied with the growth of a 
system in this country which history proves to have been 
intolerant and subversive of all the principles of freedom for 
which many of their forefathers shed their blood. Toleration 
is good, and to be advocated, but not when the warmth of 
beholders serves to enkindle a power which is calculated to 
destroy all the principles of liberty and freedom of con- 





Less than forty years ago the greater part of the district now 
thickly populated, and in which the parish of Holy Trinity is 
situated, was then known as Brown's cow-fields." The only 
houses then erected were about twenty on one side of what is 
still called Harmood-street. The inhabitants could then 
gather mushrooms in the season, near to their own gardens 
From the end of the garden of tho •* Wellington Arms/' (now 
the ** Railway Tavern ") was Hillman's Nursery Ground, with 
its extensiye strawberry beds, the fragrance from the fruit as 
it was being gathered in the early morning in the season 
entered the houses of the inhabitants, which garden extended 
to the fields, across which was a pathway leading to Grafton- 
place. Access to Kentish Town by this path was only pos- 
sible in the summer, or in dry weather. A pleasant walk 
could be taken by way of Grafton-place, passing the orchard 
on which Orchard-street has been built, then over the style, 
and through the fields to Pond-street, which then had a pond 
in the centre. 

The district of Holy Trinity, in 1847, was without the 
means for religious worship according to the forms of the 
Established Church, till the Rev. David Laing was appointed 
to it by Canon Dale. The first ministerial act of Mr. Laing 
waste issue an address, in which he said, *' Fellow Christians, 
I come among you to be useful in every possible way. The 
connection between us, which commences this day, is the 
closest which can be formed upon earth between those not 
united by blood, and is often far more permanent. How much 
may be done towards making themselves and their neigh- 
bours happy by 9,000 people who ore united in christian 
feeling to work out christian objects ! Let me then invite 
your hearty and affectionate co-operation. I undertake the 

very serious responsibility of my present office, because I like 
and can bear arduous work, and because I know that Q^od 
can, and will prosper his work in whosesoever hands he may 
place it/ His aim was that of one entering thoroughly into 
the spirit of his work as a pastor. The remarkable words in 
his first address, ^* I trust one day to know you all indivi- 
dually ^' — ^perhaps were never more completely realised than 
in his case. 

After the interval of a few weeks, Mr. Laing succeeded in 
obtaining, from the London and North- Western Railway 
Company the occupancy of a room, capable of accommodating 
200 persons, in a building which stood opposite Grange-road 
in the Hampstead-road, and which was originally intended 
for the directors' meetings. His first Lord's-day congrega- 
tion numbered but twenty-three persons, after the address 
referred to had been left at every house in the district, and 
continued at that number for some weeks without any con- 
siderable increase. " But he was not to be thus daunted or 
discouraged ; his steadfastness of purpose was equal to his 
singleness of heart. The early part of 1848 saw his little 
temporary church filled to overflowing, and in the same pro- 
portion were his means of usefulness increased ; for it was a 
distihctive mark of his ministry from the beginning, that 
whenever he gained a hearer, he rarely, if ever, failed to win 
a heart." By self-sacrifice on his own part and liberal aid of 
his little flock, large and commodious schools were erected, 
which were used for divine worship on the Lord's-day, aflbrd- 
ing accommodation for 600 worshippers. The opening 
service was conducted by Canon Dale on Sunday, July 9th, 
1848. Emboldened by success, he took immediate steps for 
the erection of the permanent church, all difficulties and 
discouragements being surmounted by patience and perse- 
verance, thus realising the promise, " Be it unto thee accord- 
ing to thy faith." On the 15th of October 1850, Holy 
Trinity Church was consecrated, little more than three years 
after his entrance upon the work of the district. The original 
congregation of twenty-three had by this time grown into a 
goodly gathering of 1,500 worshippers." 

Mr. Laing's own description from his " Pastoral Visit*,'* 
of the commencement of his labours in Kentish Town, is 
worth reproducing : ^* A clever and active self-raised man, 
quite young, and with all the enerp;y of his black head about 
him, holding already a good position upon the great line to 


wliich my parish was a mere accidental adjunoti entered into 
my position, and procured me a lofty room in an abandoned 
station, holding some 200 people. This was filled with a 
double line of forms, twelve feet long, leaving a passage of 
one foot for the congpregation. Crinoline was then unknown. 
An old pulpit was found me from another abandoned station, 
and I begun in this, my ' upper-room,' with twenty-three 
people, of whom about half remained for our first communion. 
From this germ sprang our congregation of 1,500 in their 
own churcn, besides some five other places in which each 
Sunday saw service ; the regularteachingofa thousand children, 
and all those corollaries of societies in all forms which mark 
the expansion of the parochial system. The searching out 
of the people at their houses, three services a week, and the 
vigorous pushing needed for the arrangements of the parish, 
confined me much to necessary work.'' 

The Bev. George Alford, formerly curate for four years to 
Mr. Laing) said of him and his work : *' As the mainspring 
of the numerous and various institutions of this district it 
might have been naturally concluded that his time and 
attention would have been entirely taken up in directing and 
overseeing the whole. But no; while his eye was ever 
fflancing on one and another part of the important Work 
before him, to see that all was progressing favourably, he 
threw his energies into the details of each department, so that 
those labouring imder him might be animated by his example. 
Being punctutd and methodical in his plans, he daily accom- 
plished a vast amount of work. For a stated period in the 
morning his house was open for those who needed his assist- 
ance and advice. Then he was wont to visit the sick and 
afflicted, to attend by appointment some meeting or educa- 
tional establishment, and to perform similar pastoral acts, 
that he might promote the cause of 'peace and equity.' 
He seldom had a spare evening in the week that he could 
consider his own. He might generally be found, night after 
i^^ht, presiding at some parochial meeting, to promote the 
spiritual, moral, or social welfare of his diarge. Thus he 
sacrificed his own personal comfort for the good of others, 
and devoted his energies, his time, his talents, and his 
pecuniary means to the cause of his God." 

'' One of the most striking features in his character, was 
his wonderful power of organisation. He was doubtless 
raised up by God, gifted in this particular wayi to perform 


JTut that important work which he accomplished. Few, if 
any, could have effected what he was enabled to do in the 
short space of ten years : so that this district affords a model 
of the parochial system/* 

In the account Canon Dale gives of Mr. Laing's determi- 
nation ''that the income of the minister arising from pew- 
rents should be fixed at the lowest possible standard, in order 
to afford a proportionate number of free and unappropriated 
sittings/' his noble spirit of disinterestedness and self-sacrifice 
shines forth. *' This church has, in consequence, a larger 
number than any in the parish, not excepting the parish 
church itself. Had this been all, it might have sufficed 
simply to state the fact, possessing, as he was then fiupposed 
to possess, a competence sufficient for his own very moderate 
wants, and being credited with more than competence by 
those whose only standard of judgment was the open hand 
and the open heart. But it was little suspected, even by 
those who knew him best, how largely he had already 
encroached upon his private resources ; how fearful an in- 
cumbrance of debt rested upon the newly-consecrated sanc- 
tuary ; how, in order to relieve the friends associated with 
him in the undertaking he had determined to charge himself 
with a personal responsibility which could only be met with 
the entire sacrifice of his income arising from the church." 
In 1856, Canon Dale thus referred to Mr. Laing's work : 
*^ The exemplary Incumbent of this district has now done the 
work of an evangelist for eight years, not only without any 
pecuniary return, but with a considerable excess of expen- 
diture over the annual income of the benefice.'* The spectacle 
of such unusual devotedness and disinterestedness, Mr. Dale 
states, induced him to offer Mr. Laing a valuable preferment 
which fell to his nomination in 1853, the income from which 
would not only have borne the annual burden that rested on 
him from the debt, but would have yielded a surplus more 
than sufficient for his plain and simple mode of living ; but 
Mr. Laing replied, ^* They who feel deeply do not expresa 
themiselves in many words ; I could not tell you how much I 
was gratified by your question of yesterday, but I do not 
think that I ought to desert my post. My Master has thus 
far given me strength for the work to which he has called 
me, and it would be a failure of faith to suppose that con- 
tinued work will not have continued strength: the dis- 
couragements upon London work seem to me to require that 


I sliould go on. A young man can seldom bear tliem, and ' 
many, even with more years, cannot work without constant 
light. It is my nature to work, and obstacles seem to bring out 
my obstinacy and to make me work the harder, whilst I have 
long felt that it is honour enough to do our Master's work 
withoutexpecting to reap from our own services/' Mr. Dale re- 
peated the offer after the interval of a few weeks, but his final 
answer was, '* It appears to me that my duty lies in London, 
and that I ought not to avail myself of your last kind 

The time arrived, however, when it became inevitable, 
though involuntary, on the part of Mr. Laing, to resign the 
incumbeicy. *' He had so largely taxed his own private 
resources,'^ said Canon Dale, ''that he could no longer retain 
the post without compromising the principle on which he 
had acted through life — to * render unto all their dues.' The 
circumBtances of his case were made known to the bishop of 
the diocese, who, in the kindest and most generous manner, 
conferred on him the valuable preferment to the Rectory of 
St. Olave, Hart-street, Mark Lane, which he held at the 
time of his decease. Seasonable as the appointment was, 
however, he could not comfortably avail himself of it, until 
he had secured for the oversight of his beloved flock a pastor 
of the like spirit with himself. On receiving the offer of 
this preferment, his first care was to communicate with me 
(Canon Dale) on the subject of his successor, and I thought 
it only a fitting acknowledgment of his invaluable services 
to place at his disposal the preferment for which he had so 
dearly paid, without any other condition than that there 
should be an annual collection on the Sunday nearest to 
the anniversary of consecration, in diminution of the large 
yearly payment for which he was still responsible, and would 
continue to be so while he lived. In every way, therefore, 
this church, with the varied ministries of mercy of which it 
is the source and centre, is itself his best and most enduring 

But his work was done; he ''had finished his course." 
Mr. Dale, in his sermon on the occasion of his death, on 
Sunday August 19, 1860, quotes from the description of the 
last moments of Mr. Laing, given by the Eev. Alfred J. 
Buss, his devoted friend and last curate : " He was true to 
his own teaching to the last. The anticipated terrors of a 
painful operation did not alarm him, and he expressed him- 


self willing to live or die. His countenance became so 
beautiful, that all were struck witb it ; and to those who 
were privileged to approach him, he showed an increased 
tenderness. They will never forget the words of encourage- 
ment, the beautiful cheerfulness^ the preaching, more than 
in words, of his example, in those tones of weakness. For 
two days he lay in almost unconsciousness, and yet gave 
marks of his great affection for Mrs. Laing. His last smile 
was turned to her, as she uttered the words, ^ Depart, and be 
with Christ' 'The glad eye was seen to turn up to the 
opening glory/ as he said in one of his sermons ; and he fell 
asleep in Jesus.'' '* Mark the perfect man, and behold the 
upright, for the end of that man is peace." 

It is a trite remark, that the world soon forgets its bene^ 
factors. They pass away, and '' the place which once knew 
them, knows them no more." In the case of such bene* 
factors as Mr. Laing, however, their record is not only *' on 
high," but their works long remain on earth. It was well 
said by Canon Dale, that the church of Holy Trinity, with its 
" varied ministries of mercy, of which it is the source and 
centre, is the late Eev. Davia Laing's best and most enduring 

Mr. Laing was, in all respects, a thorough realisation of 
the ideal parochial clergyman. !N^ot a child was unnoticed 
by him. He patted them on the head, and tliey seemed the 
better for his "touch.'' One^who now towers above his 
fellows, being some inches over six feet high, with pleasure 
well remembers being thus noticed by Mr. Laing. He was 
one of the most cheerful happy looking gentlemen ever 
seen. He regretted, as recorded in his little work called 
'' Pastoral Visits/' that many amongst us '' sadly forget to 
make religion pleasant ; to show, practically, that her ways 
are ways of pleasantness. I never could understand how we 
can talk of heaven as such a happy place, and yet speak of it 
with a very solemn, mournful manner, and make a great parade 
of sorrow when our friends go there. The great body of us 
are like the old Scotchman, who wondered to see the visiting 
lady so cheerful, as he thought that ' all religious people were 
gloomy people.' There are multitudes who look gloomy that 
they may be thought religious; showing how little they 
know of what spirit they should be." 

Mr. Spooner, the immediate successor of Mr. Laing, said of 
his sermons, that they '' were peculiarly terse and original^ 


neyer written for effect or show, but ever full of evidences of 
deep thought and earnest conviction. He never spake as one 
who was compelled to say something, but as one who had really 
something to say ; some message to bear from his God to the 
people amongst whom he laboured. He had an intimate 
knowledge of the ways of the world, and a power of discern- 
ing character, such as few possess ; an originality of mind 
which enabled him to give a fresh cast even to the most 
hackneyed topics ; and a spirit so free from all petty jealousy, 
that one never feared to offend him by independence of 
thought or of action, provided that that independence was 
guided by right feelings." 

The Rev. Canon Dale, in pointing out certain special charac- 
teristics belonging to him, noticed his individuality — " He 
took note, as far as it was possible, of every single soul com- 
mitted to his ministry — nigh or low, rich or poor, man, 
woman or child ; and with regard to the latter, he was, in an 
especial sense, the child's pastor. He loved the young, and 
the young loved him. Without offspring of his own, he had 
the largest family in the parish ; for he was a father to all 
the children of his congregation, but especially to the children 
of the poor. No effort, no sacrifice, was too great to promote 
their spiritual, or even their temporal benefit, while, with 
regard to all who formed a portion of his charge, never did 
man more completely embody the Apostle's exquisite por- 
traiture of Christian sympathy : * Eejoice with them that do 
rejoice, and weep with them that weep.' Early and late, his 
house was the resort of all who needed help, whether secular 
or spiritual ; and, after the performance of divine service ia 
the church, more especially in the evening, he would often 
find a difficulty in reaching home for the rest he so much 
required, on account of the numbers who were waiting to 
catch a word from their minister as he passed. ' It is de- 
signed,' he said, ' that no soul should be unknown and un- 
tended ;' and as it was physically impossible for any individual 
effort to realise this in so vast a population, he had associated 
with him, in 1850, no fewer than ninety-nine fellow-labourers, 
of whom three were clergymen, four lay assistants, and the 
remainder Sunday-school teachers and district visitors ; and he 
found work for them all. There were five services on the 
Sunday, and six in the week ; Bible classes for both sexes ; 
ragged schools for boys and girls ; Sunday-schools, worked 
in six divisions, in four separate buildings ] a railway arch 


fitted up for missioiiary services ; an infant nursery ; and last 
thouglinot least indicative of truly Christian philanthropy 
and largeness of heart which overlooked none, an invalid 
chair was provided, in which aged and infirm persons might 
be conveyed to the House of God, who would otherwise have 
been hopelessly excluded from the social gatherings of the 
Church of Christ upon earth. It may suffice to say, in one 
word, that whatever variety of human wretchedness might 
be developed in the populous district of his charge, it met 
with instant sympathy, and, where the circumstances of the 
case admitted, with immediate succour also, from one who 
never spared himself —one in whom the exquisite tenderness 
of St. Paul was more touchingly manifested than in any other 
who has come within the sphere of my observation." He 
'^ combined a high standard of personal holiness with the 
deepest humility, ever accounting and avowing himself the 
chief of sinners ; he was one who, while possessed of talents 
and information which made him a profitable companion to 
the most profound philosophical of reasoners, could descend 
without an effort to the comprehension of the simplest child." 
"Ye cannot, in remembering him, separate the disciple from 
the Master, the servant from the Lord. Not only in the 
place of Christian instruction, but in the intercourse of social 
life, it was his determination to * know nothing, save Jesus 
Christ, and Him crucified.' His example every day, his life, 
was the practical embodiment of his parting words, in his 
farewell address: *that salvation is only free and perfect, 
embracing holiness as well as forgiveness ; but the forgive- 
ness is, indeed, only known and sure by the holiness that 
follows ; that as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are 
the sons of God ; while, contrariwise, if any man have not 
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." 

He displayed a truly catholic spirit. " While he loved the 
Established Church, and proved himself a devoted member 
and faithful minister of her commimion, he was ever ready to 
hold out the right hand of fellowship to all who *love our 
Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,' and to co-operate with them 
in any labours of love in which all could harmoniously 

It was a privilege to be present at his pastoral visits in the 
houses of his parishioners, where Mr. Laing, in a social and 
fatherly manner, introduced himself and his ** message " as he 
termed it, to those present, In the most simple language, and 


by means of a striking illnstrationy he would explain tlie 
doctrine of redemption. On one of such occasions he said, it 
was the custom of a former Lord Holland to devote a certain 
portion of his fortune in payment of the debt of some of those 
who were hopelessly immured in Whitecross-street prison. 
Their debts being fully paid, they could leave their prison, 
redeemed men. Those who were content to remain, and who 
rejected the offer, had to endure the consequences of their 
folly. The ''message'^ was then faithfully and most im- 
pressively delivered to those present. This was one of Mr. 
Laing's most effective ways of *' getting at " bis parishioners, 
^one could ever forget words spoken under such circum- 
stances ; there was no resisting the kindness of his appeal to 
the conscience and the heart. 

On that occasion, Mr. Laing expressed his belief that our 
Heavenly Father had placed his children in this world 
for an express purpose. When that object was accom- 
plished, he took them home to Himself. Beautiful and 
poetical as may be the idea, there are too many broken 
pillars set up in oar cemeteries, which seem to contradict its 
general application ; yet, in Mr. Laing's own case, it ap- 
peared to be completely realised. In the language of Mr. 
Alford, " When the ever-to-be-remembered founder of this 
district, and of its numerous institutions had finished his 
important work, having spent his health and strength in its 
service, and after a short respite, during which he saw the 
finish of his labour in the prosperity of the various institu- 
tions he ever had at heart, he was called away from this 
scene of conflict and woe to the world of triumph and ever- 
lasting rest.^' 

The history of Holy Trinity Church, Kentish Town, is an 
example of what a suitable appointment may effect ; and the 
labours of the Rev. David Laing can be cited as an evidence 
of the power of genuine Christian voluntary effort put forth 
by a true disciple and apostle of Christ. Had he been a 
mere o£Bicial, however great his assumption, or his learning 
or talent, he could not have been one whose example and 
labours can be referred to by all denominations as one of 
the best leaders and promoters of Church Extension in St. 

The successors of Mr. Laing to the ministry of Holy 
Trinity Church have all been able men. The Bev. Charles 
Lee for many years retained a hold on the people which 


(to a great extent) the founder of tlie church had gathered 
around him. He was highly popular as a preacher^ and 
was much regretted when he resigned his charge for another 
in Lancashire. The Bev. Edward Cutts is also a good 
and practical preacher. Whether it is expedient or 
wise, or in accordance with the spirit of the Reformed 
Church of England to endeavour to exalt form and ceremony 
in the administration of divine worship, or to retain the 
primitive simplicity which marked all the actions of the late 
Rev. David Laing, — remains for the future to determine ; 
but no minister will be worthy of the like tribute which he 
so well deserved unless he makes the salvation of the souls 
and bodies of the parishioners his one grand object and chief 
aim. That prosperity may ever attend this church, and all 
its " varied ministries of mercy/' must be the sincere desire 
of all whose interest has been awakened by this brief review 
of the rise and progress of the Church of Holy Trinity. 

The Governesses Asylum in the Prince of Wales's Road 
will ere long be numbered amongst the things of the past. 
When it was opened on the 12th of June 1849, it was indeed 
a gala day in Kentish Town. The then Duke of Cambridge, 
who was ever foremost in the promotion of all good and 
benevolent works, was to have formally opened the Institu- 
tion, but being prevented by illness, the Rev. David Laing 
gave a brief address, and the building was then thrown open 
to the visitors, who from twelve o'clock till the close of the 
day promenaded the rooms and the grounds. On the east 
side of the building were raised tents, over each of which was 
the name of the fair marchandes : Ladies firabazon, Robert 
Q-rosvenor, Egerton, Guernsey, Charlotte Guest, &c., and a 
number of other patrons. It was a fancy fair for the sale of 
articles of drawing-room manufacture. The band of the 
Scotch Fusilier Guards, and that of the boys of the Caledonian 
Asylum each did its part to enliven the opening day. The 
grounds were laid out tastefully with choice plants, and the 
wants of the appetite were not overlooked. There was then 
an uninterrupted view over the fields between Kentish Town 
and Highgate — ^the grand old trees of Caen Wood serving as 
a back ground. Alas, the fields are now covered with build- 
ings ; streets surround the asylum even on its pleasure 
grounds, part of which is occupied by the ugly arches of a 
railway, and of its contiguous station, while the unearthly 
scre^^m of the whistle^ and the rumbling of the luggage trains, 



all combine to destroy the cliaracter the spot once possessed 
of seclasion and repose, fitting for an asylum or retreat for 
thoughtful and cultivated gentlewomen. 

The building is of brick with stone finishings, and its 
gabled erected roofs as well as the general character of the 
design are associated with the comforts of an English home, 
such as the aged and destitute may enjoy in proportion to the 
benevolence of the public in encouraging this important pro- 
vision for governesses, as its originators intended it to be ; 
but a closer inspection and more intimate acquaintance with 
the peculiarity of this part of the Institution leads to the im« 
pression that to some extent some alteration is needed. 

The dependent condition of governesses at all times, but 
more especially when age or affliction or misfortune comes, 
has been a subject for novelists and painters, and no doubt 
has occasioned regret and awakened sympathy ; but nothing 
was done to meet the claims of this most useful and generally 
ill-paid class of the community till the year 1844, when the 
Governesses' Institution was established. The object was 
'^ to raise the character of Governesses as a class, and thus to 
improve the tone of Female Education ; to assist Governesses 
in making provision for their old age ; and to assist in dis- 
tress and age those Governesses whose exertions for their 
parents, or families, have prevented such a provision." The 
first of these objects is a provision for affording temporary 
assistance, which is managed by a committee of ladies. By 
this means, in 1872, 647 grants were made, on which were 
expended £1,365 17s. 7d. : and from the commencement of 
the institution 13,060 Governesses who availed themselves of 
its aid, received £33,623 ISs. lid. 

The Eeport for 1867 weU says, '' This is a cause to interest 
those whose children have benefited by the care and kindness 
of a governess, or those whose own relatives may one day 
meet similar trials." Of course governesses who have been 
engaged in the families of the aristocracy or the wealthy are 
not suffered to seek the aid of the institution in affliction or 
old age ; but this is scarcely possible in the majority of in- 
stances where they have incurred a debt of gratitude for good 
habits formed and kind influences impart^ that form the 
character for life. 

The Provident Fund has been very successful in its inten- 
tion of enabling ladies to procure annuities for themselves. 
A Savings Bank is also included in this branch. 


The Home^ in Harley-street, is principally self-supporting, 
the inmates paying a certain weekly sum for board and 
lodging. It is not only a Home for Goyernesses out of em- 
ployment, but is also used for free registration. Since the 
conmiencement of this branch in 1845, many thousand ladies 
have been gratidtously provided with situations. The number 
of such during the year 1872 being 899. 

To complete the intentions of the founders of this valuable 
institution, the Asylum in the Prince of Wales^s Eoad was 
erected. ^^The Board were repeatedly urged by some of 
their best and kindest friends to carry out the plan of a per- 
manent Home for aged Governesses. Many liberal donors 
came forward ; and with the assistance of a highly patronised 
Fancy Sale at Chelsea Hospital, a sufficient sum was accumu- 
lated to open the asylum with apartments for 22 inmates. A 
most kind friend raised £1,100 towards the endowment by a 
silver subscription ;'' and to the natural energy and business 
habits of the late B>ev. David Laing is greatly due the suc- 
cessful completion of the work. Mr. Laing exhibited the 
utmost regard for the welfare and comfort of the inmates to 
the day of his death. Mrs. Laing then became the honorary 
secretary of the institution, and manifests the like interest, 
and visits the asylum continually ; indeed, she is still un- 
wearied ill many other labours of love that were originated 
by her late excellent husband. 

The Report issued in 1873 states that in the past year " two 
of the old ladies have passed away since the last Report ; one, 
the youngest of the number ; the other, who entered nearly 
nineteen years ago, kept to a certain degree her lighthearted- 
ness till the illness which terminated her life at the age of 
eighty-four. The remaining eleven, seven of whom have 
passed their fourscore years, are as well as can be hoped for, 
enjoying life according as their bodily infirmities will allow, 
and very sensible of the attentions of those kind friends who 
occasionally send them game, flowers, books, and their Christ- 
mas presents of a Stilton cheese and champagne." 

The vacancies in the asylum have not been filled up, the 
Report for 1867 states, *' as the Board have been induced to 
contemplate an important alteration. It has been urged upon 
them in various quarters, and especially by the Ladies' Com- 
mittee, who had given most careful investigation to the 
domestic arrangements and expenditure, that an alteration 
would be a great improvement. They found that with the 


most careful management, the expense of maintaining the 
inmates must be out of all proportion to the number main- 
tained ; that several could not make themselves happy, but 
felt the not unnatural depression of constant companionship 
with those with similar infirmities to their own ; and longed 
for the friends from whom they were separated. All this has 
been proved indirectly, by the little anxiety felt by ladies to 
enter; on one occasion no less than twenty-seven having 
declined a vacancy which would have put them in possession 
of comforts towards which their annuities could do but little. 
The Board propose, therefore, to erect new buildings on a 
different plan, giving each lady an annual payment, and a 
small independent home. As a matter of course, the ladies 
now in the asylum will not be allowed to miss the care they 
now enjoy ; but the Board are sanguine that even with some 
of them, the content will be greater with little more than 
half the annual expense at present incurred ; that, in fact, 
half the comforts they at present possess with independence, 
will make them happier than all that can be done for them 
now ; and it may be well to add, that the Duchess of Box- 
burghe and Mrs. S. C. Hall (the popular authoress,) who 
hold life presentations, are much satisfied with the proposed 
alteration. It is now a subject of great anxiety to meet with 
an acre of land within omnibus distance, as old ladies are 
almost always afraid of a train." 

That anxiety was relieved by the obtaining land at Chisle- 
hurst. An asylum has been ereeted, and the last Eeport 
states that *' Nine ladies have now their pretty homes, four 
of those last elected are hardly settled yet, but all expressed 
themselves very pleased, and some avail themselves of the 
privilege of having a relative to reside with them. Twelve 
houses are now built, and the Board invite all their friends 
to make an excursion to Chislehurst, where the beauty of the 
surrounding scenery and the cheerful aspects of the ladies 
will make their visit a delightful one, and tend to make them 
wish, either individually or by collection (as the Duchess of 
Boxburghe and Miss Maurice did in Kentish Town) to make 
a^ presentation for some lady who needs it." 

To effect this object the estate in Kentish Town has been 
disposed of, which accounts for the item of rent, including 
rates and taxes, of £293 18s. 7d. in the year 1872. 

Thus twenty-five years have produced many external 
changes around the Governesses Asylum, Kentish Town; 


they have also shown that for several aged persons to live 
together is unnatural, although they may be of the refined 
and educated class, and also be treated with the consideration 
their education and former position deserved. The new 
arrangements at Ohislehurst admit of the family ordinationi 
as far as possible ; also the provision of an annual sum of 
£42 to be paid monthly at the asylum, with the welcome 
addition of three tons of coals each year, and medical atten- 
dance. The individual taste of each inmate is thus provided 
for, and at far less cost. The cash account for 1872 shows 
that at £entish Town the cost of housekeeping for the eleven 
inmates amounted to £1,047, nearly £100 each, to which 
is to be added other expenses, such as chaplain, lady superin- 
tendent, rates, repairs, &c., making £1,648. 

It is to be hoped that the new arrangements at Ghislehurst 
will be more thoroughly successful in the attainment of the 
praiseworthy object the originators designed to accomplish. 




In the year 1791, Horace Walpole, in a letter to Mrs. Berry, 
informed her that Lord Camden had just let some land in 
Kentish Town for building 1,400 houses. Hence, a few years 
afterwards the pleasant fields were mapped out for streets. 
Several builders set to work, and one of the principal resi- 
dent ones afterwards was Mr. Thomas Lever. 

The name of the town was said lately by an old established 
weekly newspaper to have been derived from that of William 
Camden, the author of " Britannia "; which is obviously an 
error. By common consent the name of the ground land- 
lord was given to the new town, though some years elapsed 
before it was so called or described on maps published by 
authority.^ A brief account of the life of the first Earl may 
not be unacceptable or out of place here, especially to those 
who may value him as an advocate of the rights and liberties 
of the common people, when their friends were few, and not 
often to be found amongst the titled and the influential. 

Charles Earl Camden was the third son of Sir John Pratt, 
Chief Justice ©f the Court of King's Bench, and was born in 
1713. In 1767, he was appointed Attorney-General, and in 
1762 made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. In 1765, he 
was created a peer by the title of Baron Camden, of Camden- 
place, in Kent, and the year following raised to the dignity 
of Lord Chancellor. In 1782, he became president of the 


Cooncil, and held it, with the exception of a short inter- 
mission, till the day of his death. 

On fche question of libel, Lord Camden always opposed the 
doctrine laid down by high authority, that juries were only 
the judges of the matter of fact, and not of the law. This 
was a most important point, at a time when exalted persons 
gave great occasion to be spoken evil of. 

The times in which Lord Camden lived were marked by a 
fierce struggle by the Court or Tory party to govern by force, 
and an endeavour to crush the liberty of the people to ex- 
press their opinion on the acts of their rulers. We can 
scarcely conceive the possibility in the present day in Eng- 
land that a Sovereign should obstinately persist in a line of 
policy contrary to the desire of the great majority of the 

Jeople. True it is that the Earl of Bute and his party in- 
uenced George the Third to pursue his coercive measures, 
which occasioned the American War and which led to the 
sympathy of France and other nations being extended to the 
American people in their opposition to the unjust and un- 
wise course of England towards them, entailing as it did 
millions of debt, and our present heavy taxation to pay the 
interest — but, on the other hand, there were advisers of a 
contrary policy, amongst the foremost of whom was Lord 

Soon after his appointment as Lord Chief Justice of the 
King's Bench in 1762, he expressed his opinion against the 
asserted power of the Secretary of State to authorise arrests, 
or the seizure of papers upon General Warrants, with an 
energy entirely in accordance with the prevailing feeling of 
the times, which procured for him a larger share of popular 
favour than had been enjoyed by any judge in England since 
the Revolution. 

The occasion on which this arose was a libel on the King 
by John Wilkes, Alderman of London, and member of Par- 
liament for Aylesbury. Mr. George Grenville had issued a 
general warrant for his apprehension ; he was committed to 
the Tower, and his papers seized ; but on being brought up, 
on a writ of habeas corputj before Chief Justice Pratt, he dis- 
charged him as being a member of Parliament, ultimately 
deciding that General Warrants were illegal, which decision 
occasioned the general rejoicings of the populace. The 
'* North Briton," in which the libel appeared, was ordered by 
Parliament to be burned by the common hangman^ which 


gave occasion for an outbreak of popular violence. Addresses 
of thanks were voted to the Judge by many of the principal 
towns^ and several public bodies presented him with the freedom 
of their respective corporations. The City of London placed 
his portrait in Guildhall, with an inscription in honour of 
the '^ maintenance of English constitutional liberty." 

After the expulsion of John Wilkes from Parliament, he 
prosecuted the Secretary of State for false imprisonment, and 
obtained a verdict in his favour, with damages for £1,000. 
Wilkes became for a time the idol of the people, because in 
him they saw an opponent of bigotry and intolerance. Four 
times WCU9 he returned member for Middlesex, and the House 
of Commons rejected him each time, which occasioned 
dreadful riots in St. George's Fields. Some years afterwards 
he was chosen Lord Mayor, again elected for Middlesex, 
and permitted to take his seat without further molestation, 
and by a vote of the House he succeeded in getting the 
entries expunged from the Journals which reflected upon his 
character. He died in 1797. 

Li the House of Peers, Lord Camden took a leading part 
in opposition to the Government, who desired to impose taxes 
upon the American colonies ; and while holding the office of 
Lord Chancellor, in the opening of the Session of 1770, he 
felt it to be his duty to oppose the Government and vote for 
Lord Chatham's amendment to the ministerial address. 
Such an unequivocal act of hostility necessarily led to his 
removal from the woolsack, and finally closed his judicial 

Lord Camden's character as Lord Chancellor is thus de- 
scribed by a contemporary : *' He was blessed by nature with 
a clear, persuasive, and satisfactory manner of conveying his 
ideas. In the midst of politeness and facility, he kept up the 
true dignity of his important office ; in the midst of exem- 
plary patience (foreign to his natural temper, and therefore 
the more commendable) his understanding was always 
vigilant ; his memory was prodigious in readiness and com- 
prehension ; but, above all, there appeared a kind of bene- 
volent solicitude for the discovery of truth that won the 
suitors to a thorough and implicit confidence in him.'' He 
was distinguished for great firmness, and yet he was mild in 
manners, and was a wise and amiable man. It is pleasantly 
related of him, that while Chief Justice, being upon a visit to 
Lord Dacre^ at Alyeley, in Essex, he walked out with a 


gentleman^ a very absent man^ to a hill at no great distance 

from the house^ upon the top of which stood the stocks of the 

village. The Chief Justice sat down upon them, and, having 

a mind to know what the punishment was like, he asked his 

companion to open them and put him in ; this being done, 

his friend took a book from his pocket; sauntered on,' and so 

completely forgot the Judge and his situation, that he returned 

to Lord Dacre's. In the meantime, the Chief Justice, being 

tired of the stocks, tried in vain to release himself; seeing a 

countryman pass by, he endeavoured to move him to let him 

out, but obtained nothing by his motion. **lHo, no, old 

gentleman/' said the countryman, ^* you was not set there 

for nothing ;" and left him. He was finally released by a 

servant of the house who was despatched in quest of him. 

Some time after, he presided at a trial in which a charge was 

brought against a magistrate for false imprisonment and for 

setting in the stocks. The counsel for the magistrate, in his 

reply, made light of the whole charge; and more especially 

of the setting in the stocks, which he said everybody knew 

was no punishment at all. The Chief Justice rose and, lean- 

ing over the Bench, said, in a half-whisper, '^ Brother, have 

you ever been in the stocks P" " Beally, my Lord, never." 

^' Then I have/* said the Judge, '* and I assure you, brother, 

it is no such trifle as you represent.'^ 

During the last twenty-four years of his life. Lord Camden 
devoted himself entirely to politics, fie opposed the ill- 
advised policy of Lord North respecting America, and in 
1778 is said to have framed the protest of the Lords against 
the rejection of Lord Bockingham's motion for an address to 
the King, prajring him to disavow the obnoxious Manifesto 
of the American Commissioners. He was president of the 
Council in Mr. Fox's administration, which office he held till 
his death. Upon the occasion of the King's derangement, in 
1788, he introduced the plan proposed by Government for 
the appointment of areg^icy. In 1786 he was created Earl of 
Camden, andreceived the additional title of Yiscount Bayham, 
of Bayham Abbey, in Kent. Lord Camden died on the 13th 
April 1794, in the 80th year of his age. His only son, 
John Jefireys Pratt, born in 1759, succeeded to the title, and 
the year following was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 
which appointment he held till 1798, when he was succeeded 
by Marquis Cornwallis, whose experience as a military 
commander and governor in India rendered him a mora 


fitting ruler during the trying and terrible scenes of the 

The second Earl held several offices, one of which, a Teller 
of the Exchequer, he held for sixty years ; he gained some 

f)opularity by giving up the income arising from that 
ucrative office, during nearly half that time, amounting to 
upwards of a quarter of a milUon of money I He was created 
Marquess Camden and Earl of Brecknock in 1812, and died 
in 1840, in his 82nd vear. The present Marquess is a minor. 
The connection of the first Marquess with the prebendal 
estate of Cantelowes or Kentish Town was in consequence of 
his father marrying Elizabeth, one of the daughters of 
Richard Jeffireys, grandson of Sir John Jeffireys, whose 
family became proprietors in 1670. It is held subject to a 
reserved rent of £20 Is. 5d. per annum to the prebendary of 
St. Paul's. 

In an Ordnance Map of St. Pancras, of about the year 
1804, it is shewn that Camden Town was only then planned 
for additional streets. Except in High-street, there were 
post-and-rail fences to the roads connecting Camden and 
Sentish Towns, and church-paths, as they were then called, 
were kept up by a rate. These paths led to the Old Church. 
On that map may be traced Southampton-street, which was 
built in 1802, as recorded on a stone let into the front of the 
centre house. This street then overlooked Rhodes's cow-fields. 
Arlington-street had not long been built, and at the time 
referred to was the promenade of the village. The houses 
on the south-west side of the street were not commenced till 
more than thirty years later, ufitil which time their site was 
occupied as gardens, the fields beyond stretching outto Mary- 
lebone, with pathways to old Marylebone Park and the then 
popular *' Jew's Harp," with its ^'bowery tea-gardens," 
which a few persons still living delight to speak of. Arling- 
ton-street derives its name from Isabella Countess of Arling- 
ton, a former holder of the lease of the manor of Tottenham 
Court, from whom it descended to her son, Charles Duke of 

The ** Bedford Arms,'^ like its neighbour of ''Southamp- 
ton," some forty or fifty years since had a rural character 
in accordance with the locality. The tea-garden between 
Arlington-street and High-street, consisted of arbours, in 
which families from ** town," chiefly on Sundays, refreshed 
themselves in the well-kept bowling green in therear^ on the site 


of Mary-terrace. The " shrimp man " was then an institution 
in tea-gardens, and the relishing article he vended was not 
at all unfavourable to the consumption of the liquids the 
landlord desired to supply. For many years the Bedford 
Arms was kept by Mr. James, who was much respected by 
his neighbours. Many celebrities frequented his parlour, 
amongst whom was the late Sheridan Knowles. Mary's- 
terrace was named after a favourite daughter of Mr. James. 

On gala days a balloon ascent from the bowling green of 
the Bedford Arms was a principal attraction. The inhabi- 
tants of the district had become familiarised with such exhi- 
bitions, and they were sometimes attended with dangers and 
even loss of life. In 1785, a Count Zambercari and Admiral 
Vernon had made an aerial trip from the ** cheap bread 
warehouse in Tottenham Court-road," which seems to have 
been " the most hazardous voyage made up to this time," 
according to the "Gentleman's Magazine " for March of that 
year ; and Garnerini had descended in a parachute, in a field 
at the back of St. Fancras Church, on 21st September 1802. 
In 1824 an ascent was made from the Bedford Arms gardens, 
on which occasion the fields around were crowded with 
sight-seers, Mr. Bossiter being the aeronaut, in the late 
Mr. Harris's balloon. On 14th June 1825, " there was a 
much greater assemblage to witness the ascent than on any 
former occasion, owing to the novelty of Mr. Graham being 
accompanied by two ladies, his wife and a Mrs. Forbes, who 
each bore a flag, which on the balloon rising they waved 
amidst immense cheering. It took a westward direction, 
over the Regent's Park, which was filled with spectators, who 
had an admirable view of the voyagers for half an hour/' 
said the ** Morning Herald " the next day. 

The precise date of the application of the name to Camden 
Town is not very clear. It has been stated to have been so 
called in 1791, but on a map of London and its suburbs, 
published by Carington Bowles, in 1793, the district was not 
then so described. The main street (High-street) was then 
called Southampton-place. The road which connects the 
eastern end of it with Old Fancras Bead, and which is now 
Crowndale Bead, then was known by the few and favoured 
inhabitants as Fig-lane. The fields then known as Bhodes's 
fields existed, in which some few inhabitants still living have 
reminiscences of gambols and kite-flying. In the adjoining 
Somers Town fields, in times of political excitement, meet- 


ings were held of Jacobins —represented in later times by 
Bradicals. An old inbabitant remembers sucb meetings 
being held when he was a child, and the apprehension of 
danger which was expressed by his mother because her hus- 
band attended them, he haying sympathy with that party. 
A few years later, that portion of the field was enclosed 
which was between the Hampstead Eoad and the pathway 
from Camden-street to Union-street. The road to Seymour- 
street was then through that fields boarded on both sides 
(now Eversholt-street). 

The first notable house on entering the town from the 
south (a fine open space) is the Southampton Arms, of course 
in honour of Lord Southampton. The illuminated modem 
temple of Bacchus, however, is not the original building, nor 
is it even on the. site ; but the original humble road-side inn 
(with its old balcony) remained till 1871 (the lower part 
occupied as Mrs. Sidney Lait^s stay and crinoline depository). 
Holiday makers from " town *' who could not wait till they 
reached the "Mother Red Cap" or " Mother Black Cap,'^' 
then half-way houses to Hampstead or Highgate, woidd stop 
here to refresh themselves. By the side of the house was 
the yard (with stabling in the rear) where cows were wont 
to stand to be milked for those who at early mom or dewy 
eve required it, sometimes with the addition of " something 
strong,^^ Some sixty years since, the then landlord was 
unable to obtain a renewal of his lease, he however obtained 
from the then Lord Southampton the site for the present 

In 1808, there were but three houses (then called Pratt- 
place) on the opposite side to the Southampton Arms, and in 
the centre one lived Mr. William Joachim. The manner in 
which he was deprived of life one evening in the July of that 
year, is evidence of the insecurity in the suburbs at that 
time, from the inefiBlciency of the police. He had received 
some money of a person who lived in Lisson Grove, and on 
his way home, through the Marylebone Fields, he was 
attacked by robbers, and murdered. It was proved by evi- 
dence that he had stopped by the way to see some skittle- 
playing at the Jew's Harp Tavern, and it was thought 
probable that the fact then became known that he had notes 
about him to the amount of £100. An inquest was held on 
the body at the Southampton Arms, and a verdict of wilful 
murder returned against some person or persons unknown^ 


but no due was eyer found to lead to the discovery of the 

I^ext to these three houses was a timber yard, which some 
years after the event above referred to was covered by Messrs. 
Ghinther & Horwood's pianoforte manufactory. In the year 
1825 a destructive fire broke out in the evening, after the 
workmen had left. There were then trees at each side of the 
road/ which were so injured by the fire that they were after- 
wards removed. The building subsequently passed into the 
hands, of Messrs. Collard, for a time. In 1848, when Park 
Chapel was destroyed by fire, this building being then un- 
used was engaged for five months during the re-erection of 
the chapel. It was so contrived that the two floors were 
occupied by the congregation, an opening being made in the 
flooring of the upper one, so that the minister could be heard 
by all. Then for a time it was used as a temporary church, 
in which the Bev. Charles Phillips ministered till the erection 
of his present church in Oakley-square. 

It is now well-known as the I^orth London Collegiate 
School, — established at a public ^meeting of the inhabitants 
of St. Pancras, held January 14, 1850; the Rev. Thomas 
Dale, late Vicar of St. Pancras, in the chair ; supported by 
the Rev. David Laing, Rev. C. Phillips, Harry Chester, Esq., 
and Joseph Payne, Esq., in accordance with the following 
resolution : ^' That regard being had to the wants of this 
popidous and increasing locality, it is in the opinion of this 
meeting expedient that a public school be established, in 
which a thoroughly sound commercial and classical educa- 
tion, based on religious principles, can be afforded on 
economical terms." The school is conducted imder the 
general superintendence of the Vicar and Clergy of St. Pancras, 
and is divided into two departments — the mercantile or com- 
mercial department, and the classical or professional depart- 
ment; the course of study in the former having direct 
reference to mercantile life ; that in the latter, to the pro- 
fessions, competitive and civil service examinations, entrance 
at the Universities, and all those positions in life for which 
a good general education is required. There is no greater 
proof of the progress of Camden Town than its possessing 
such an institution for the sons of its middle class residents. 

The uniformly-built lofty houses with shops at this 
entrance to Camden Town present also an appearance of 
modem prosperity and elegance, a contrast to the former 


village simplicity of the Soutbampton-place of fifty years 
since. There was then here one of those expensive obstacles 
to travellers called turnpikes. Sixty years since or more a 
weigh-bridge adjoined the turnpike-gate, for the purpose of 
determining the amount of toll to be taken ; waggons, &c. 
then paying according to the weight of their burthen. I'he 
'pikeman was an amateur gardener, and had raised an em- 
bankment of road-drift to enclose the evidence of his taste 
for floricultural adornment. On that spot is now the Cobden 
Statue. It was erected by public subscription in 1868, and 
the most munificent donor was the late Emperor Napoleon, 
who was a sincere admirer of the sterling character of our 
illustrious countryman. The sculptor has done justice to the 
features of Eichard Cobden, but his ungraceful habiliments 
are frequently commented upon by the outside passengers on 
the numerous omnibuses and tram-cars which pass the statue. 

Scarcely a trace remains of the small houses and shops to 
be seen, in 1793, on the west side of High-street, consisting 
of the only hairdresser ; the newsvendor, who was also the 
postman, having two or three steps by which to ascend to 
his shop, and a few others. Save the three houses before men- 
tioned, and one or two large houses standing alone, with gardens 
attached, there were none on the opposite side. Those on 
the west were continuous as far as Warren- place (now 
Delancy-street). At the corner was a bookseller's shop 
(Halsted's) still remaining, now a print shop, a remnant of 
the past. All the others have been either rebuilt, or have 
shops built on what were the gardens, as far as the ^' Britannia 
Assembly Rooms," by the side of which was Britannia-lane, 
where, sixty years since, twice a. week, a badger was baited ; 
that lane being now Park-street, having in it a threatre, 
and being also the great thoroughfare to the Regent^s Park. 

Opposite Park-street is the well-known *' Mother Red 
Cap.'' The old house is represented in an oil painting 
hanging in the bar of the present house, as well as a portrait 
of ** Mother Damnable," a notorious character, known after- 
wards as Mother Red Cap. 

In 1809 that old house was pulled down. During one 
week the work of demolition took place, and not a brick 
remained, very much to the surprise and annoyance of its 
Sunday morning frequenters. It was re-erected, and had its 
tea-gardens, with arbours around, before Bayham-street 


The only houses in 1793 near the Red Cap were those 
known then and now as Greenland-place. In 1799, York- 
place, a continuation of Greenland-place, was built, as 
recorded on a stone in the front of the centre house. 

The time of day could then be seen from these houses fby 
means of a telescope) by the clock of Islington Church ; a 
builder, whose son, of the same occupation, is still living, a 
respected inhabitant of the town, then lived here. Bayham- 
street was erected in 1812, and hid the pleasant prospect, 
of course changing also the character of the place, by making 
it a narrow court. 

St. Pancras Workhouse was originally situated near the 
angle of the two roads which branch off to Hampstead and 
Highgate. Part of the wall which enclosed it still remains, 
forming the outer wall of the cow sheds belonging to Brown's 
"Aldemey Dairy." The inmates could be seen as they 
perambidated their airing- ground from behind the village 
pound, which with the stocks then faced High-street. 

The infirmary belonging to the old house (having been 
previously known as the Mother Black Cap) was converted 
into Shepperson's soap factory. 

Some sixty years since, a gentleman still living remembers 
his visits when a boy to a room in the infirmary, in which 
the Master of the Workhouse was wont to preach on Sundays 
to the inmates, and he invited the parishioners also that they 
might receive the advantage of his ministrations. We have 
no means of tracing the name of that Master, or to what 
denomination he belonged, but in recording the above fact, 
an instinctive reverence is awakened for the man who was 
the voluntary, and perhaps only, chaplain as well as manager 
of the house ; and an assurance given that the wants of the 
poor were then properly cared for. 

From Mr., Wiswould's account of the Charities of the 
parish, we learn that the piece of " copyhold ground lying 
within the Manor of Tottenhall, and adjoining the old parish 
workhouse, formerly known as the ' Mother Black Cap,' or 
Halfway House between Hampstead and St. Giles's, at the 
junction of the Hampstead and Highgate roads," was given 
by General Fitzroy, in the year 1788, for the use and benefit 
of the poor of St. Pancras. On the 4th March 1817, it 
was sold, together with the old workhouse premises, and the 
proceeds of the sale, amounting to £795, were applied to 
the purposes of the Act for providing a New Workhous^ 


for the parifili. The first stone was laid on 17th June 1807, 
by the Rev. Weldon Champneys, grandfather of the late 
vicar, and Edmund Pepys, Esq., Magistrate, and was opened 
in 1809. 

When the old workhouse was pulled down, a terrace was 
built, appropriately called Union- terrace, a name not how- 
ever derived from the purposes to which the late edifice had 
been devoted (for " Unions " as we know them were then 
unknown), but from its forming a junction (as it still does) 
between the Hampstead and Highgate Roads. The frontage 
faced a field, and the tenants had consequently an uninter- 
rupted view of Hampstead and Highgate. The centre house 
had at one time an observatory on the top, and the style 
of the terrace was in accordance with its then pleasant and 
eligible position. The only prospect now is an ugly blank 

About the same period '* Go wing's Forge " was literally 
the '* village smithy ;" and some inhabitants (school-boys 
then) still speak of the cheerful sight to them on wintry 
days, as '* homewards from school they went " to peep in and 
see the blazing fire and the sparks flying from the anvil. This 
is now changed into a respectable veterinary surgeon's estab- 
lishment, but the same proprietor still remains. 

A letter is here inserted, descriptive of this part of Camden 
Town, which appeared in a local print in 1864, addressed to 
Mr. Ludbrook, who had just then erected Milton Hall : — 

" In imagination I was carried back nearly forty years. 
The spot on which Milton Hall has been erected was then 
part of a field dpvoted in summer time to cricket. It was 
in fact, the village cricket- field; and when the tents were 
erected, and matches played, of course, it was a scene of 
great interest to the town. Then, tradesmen were friends, not 
rivals. The only two bakers in the town were members of 
the club ; one, a very stout man, was the bowler par exceU 
lence. And such a runner too! The principal draper in 
the town was also a notable cricketer. A fine looking man 
he was. But poor fellow, his end was a sad one drink was 
his destroyer. 

" Opposite that field lived a cheesemonger. He gained 
sufficient to retire with, but like the citizen Addison tells of 
in the ' Spectator,' he was not happy ; he went back to his 
shop ; he there lost all he had previously accumulated, and 
he and his wife ended their days in St. Pancras Workhouse. 


'* In the days I am referring to, gas was unknown. . We had 
little twinkling oil lamps. As soon as it became dark, the 
watchman went his rounds, starting from his box at the 
north end of Bayham-street, against the tea-gardens of the 
* Mother Red Cap,^ then a humble road-side house, kept by 
a widow and her two daughters, by the name of Young. 
Then the road between Kentish and Camden Towns was very 
lonely — hardly safe after dark. These certainly were draw- 
backs, for depredations used frequently to be committed in 
the back premises of the houses. Careful housekeepers used 
to have bells fixed inside their shutters, and, of course, there 
was a sense of insecurity then. If any disturbance arose, 
and there was occasion for ^the police,' the only dread 
authority was * old Lorimer, the constable.* His presence 
would often disperse the idle boys who had perhaps occa- 
sioned the uproar. 

" And what a contrast in the number of churches and 
chapels. The nearest church was Old St. Pancras, then in 
the midst of fields. The church in Pratt-street was in course 
' of erection ; and when* completed it was an event in the 
history of the town. The first minister was the son of the 
justly celebrated Madame D'Arblay. It was said by some 
that his mother could not have composed his sermons. 
There was nothing striking or impressive in his preaching. 
He did not reside in the town. I remember an incident 
being related which shows the gpinion some had upon the 
matter. An inhabitant of our town wais visiting Bath, and 
was accosted by a gentleman whom he recognised as Mr. 
D'Arblay, asking for some street there. Having expressed 
his inability to direct him, he added that he ' knew more of 
Camden Town.' 

" The many changes which have taken place since those 
days would take a volume to record. If we no longer can 
look upon the village cricket-field, we can ^walk abroad 
and recreate ourselves ' in the increasingly beautiful Regent's 
Park ; also on the adjoining Primrose Hill, with its faci- 
lities for cricket-playing and gymnastics. 

" The very few schools existing then were set up by men 
who had been unsuccessful in other occupations. Now, our 
town can boast of its Collegiate School, British Schools, as 
well as many good private schools. 

" The one church has been multiplied ; and the little 
chapel in a court out of Hi^h-street has disappeared, and, 



instead, there are now several handsome and commodious 
places of worship." 

The famous bowler referred to in the above letter died a 
year or two since at an advanced age, having lived in retire- 
ment for many years, enjoying life while it lasted, he being 
blessed with competency and good health. 

The little *' chapel in a court out of High-street '' was pulled 
down many years since, and two or three very small dwell- 
ings now occupy the ground where it stood. It is still called 
Chapel-place. The present writer, when a boy, often strayed 
within the sacred inclosure of what must have been amongst 
the smallest of *' Little Bethels." The illumination was pro- 
duced by a dozen long sixes, which required to be frequently 
snuffed by the one pew-opener, the light being sometimes 
diminished by the extinguishment of one of the aforesaid 
candles. The preaching was of that kind of which there are 
not many specimens to be found in the pres^it day. The 
threatenings and terrors of the law, the denunciations of hell 
fire and everlasting torments seemed to be the staple argu- 
ment to procure obedience to the Divine will. The action 
of the preacher was of that pugilistic character of which 
Charles Dickens gives a specimen in his "American Notes.'* 
The tub-like pulpit had some restraint over its occupant ; 
had the modern platform style been then in fasHon, no 
doubt the Reverend Mr. M- would have carried his 

Bible up and down, and rapped it in the manner of the preacher 
in New York which Dickens so ably describes. However, he 
did thump the pulpit, and sometimes, leaning half over, 
could almost touch the occupants of the first pew. The 
effect of his preaching might have been beneficial to a certain 
order of mind, but to many it was calculated to inspire terror 
and dread. One at least of his flock was driven almost 
to despair by such imperfect and false representations of the 
character and attributes of God. Though but a compara- 
tively short time since then, what a change has taken place ! 
When the late Prince Consort, some seventeen years ago, 
commended Dr. Caird's sermon, preached in Crathie parish 
church, on " the Religion of Common Life,'^ it became the 
fashion of the day to preach on the necessity for more 
practical religion, and the influence of that sermon has not 
yet passed away. If fault is to be found with the preaching 
of the present day, it is in the opposite direction ; but in 
this, as in other things, " extremes " eventually *' meet." 


Opposite the last house at the Kentish Town-road end of 
TJnion-terrace is " Ebenezer *' Chapel. There is a history 
connected with it of which the following account is substan- 
tialbr correct. 

Nearly fifty years ago, Mr. Thomas W. Gittens, then a 
young man, left Portsmouth, his native place, to seek his 
fortune in London ; he took up his abode in Camden Town, 
where he followed his trade, and eventually opened an up- 
holsterer's shop in High-street. When the new church in 
Pratt-street was erected he was engaged to fit up the pulpit, 
and the communion table was also the work of his hands. A 
story is told that while so employed he expressed it to be his 
desire and intention some day to preach — not in that pulpit, 
but in that of some chapel in his adopted town. This 
was dictated by no unworthy ambition, as the sequel will 

In a little loom over a carpenter's shop in Bayham- terrace, 
then leading to the fields, "Mr. Thomas William Gittens first 
preached the Gospel. The congregation one Lord's Day 
were disappointed by the non-arrival of the expected minister. 
At the request of some of the brethren, Mr. Gittens delivered 
an address, which was so acceptable to the assembly that they 
at length invited him to become their minister ; he consented^ 
and for two years preached in that room, which became so 
crowded that after some consultation it was resolved to build 
a chapel more suitable to their requirements, and in which 
the gifts of Mr. Gittens might be exercised for the advantage 
of a larger congregation. During that time, and for some 
time after, he supported himself by his business. Three 
ladies attended Mr. Gittens' ministry who were of different 
religious denominations, but possessing some wealth, they all 
agreed to give liberally towards the building of the new 
chapel. This circumstance for a time suggested the name 
of Union Chapel, but eventually it was overruled, and 
''Ebenezer " was the name agreed upon. Each member of 
the little flock did his utmost, and thus they were enabled to 
build the chapel, which was opened for Divine worship in 
1835. The congregation so increased in numbers, that it 
became necessary to enlarge the building in 1847. 

The style of Mr. Gittens' preaching, though not claiming 
to be of much cultivation, was impressive and calculated to 
reach the heart ; he was in that respect a contrast to the 
reverend gentleman we have already referred to, of Chapel- 


place. While discoiirsing on the love of God as exiiibited 
to a sinful world by the gift of His beloved Son, he has occa- 
sionally been overcome by his emotions, and tears have 
rolled down his face, and tne congregation could not fail to 
be deeply impressed by his theme ; he had the advantage of 
possessing a commanding presence, and a fine open benevo- 
lent countenance ; his language was fluent, and he greatly 
improved his natural gifts during his ministry, which ceased 
with his life in 1859. 

There comes upon congregations; sooner or later, that 
change which cometh upon all things in this world. A few 
years before his death; Mr. Gtittens was pained to see the 
number of his congregation lessen ; the former prosperity 
has not been regained. His successors were unfortunate, 
till Mr. Palmer, a son-in-law of Mr. Gittens, commenced his 
ministry in 1866. He possesses considerable ability, and it 
is satisfactory to state that the members of the churcli and 
congregation have increased threefold since his settlement. 
A tablet has been placed in the wall behind the pulpit, to the 
memory of the first pastor. On it is engraved the following in- 
scription : — "In memory of the Rev. Thomas William Gittens, 
born Feb. 1791 ; died — 1869, aged 68 years, Foimder and 
Minister of this Chapel, who for twenty-seven years faithfully 
and fully preached the truths of the everlasting Gospel. 
Being called in early life, his greatest ambition was to devote 
himself to the service of God. This service was blessed to 
the conversion of many sinners, and to the building up of 
the Church of Christ. He was zealous, self-sacrificing, 
amiable, benevolent ; a living epistle, known and read of all 
men. He bore his last illness with great fortitude, and with 
meek submission to the will of his Heavenly Father/' 

Within a short space of the site of the first Independent 
Chapel, in Chapel-place before referred to, is Park Chapel, 
built by the " Metropolitan Chapel Fund Association,^' and 
opened on December 6th, 1843, for the denomination known 
as Congregational Dissenters. The cost of its erection was 
£3,684, of which sum £1,860 had been subscribed on the 
day of opening, when the late Rev. Dr. Baffles, of Liverpool, 
preached in the morning, and the late Bev. Dr. Leifchild of 
Craven chapel in the evening. 

Various ministers conducted the worship from that day 
till March 22nd, 1846, when the Eev. Joshua C. Harrison, 
of Tottenham (who had been unanimously invited by the 


Churclij then numbering 47 members) became the minister. 
In a few months the chapel became densely filled, and 
members were constantly being added to the Chnrch. A 
Christian Instruction Society was formed; also Sunday- 
schoolSj a Boys' Day-school^ and Bible classes were instituted. 
" For more than two years peace and progress were witnessed ; 
deacons were elected, the Church thennumbering222members ; 
the debt, which at the opening had been considerably more 
than £2,000, was reduced to £1,300 ; the schools and societies 
were flourishing; when, on the evening of Tuesday, June 
6th, 1848, after some workmen, who were engaged to im- 
prove the ventilation, had left the chapel, the buildingf^was 
discovered to be on fire, and, with the exception of the walls, 
was quickly destroyed/' 

What appeared to be at that time an irreparable calamity, 
really proved an incentive to labour and consequent union 
amongst the church and congregation; nor were the 
neighouring churches wanting in sympathy and aid^ 
and many made special collections for the rebuilding of 
the chapel. An insurance had been effected for £1,500, 
promises and donations were made to the amount of 
£1,700. Meanwhile, the building now known as the Col- 
legiate School was used for worship. An opening was 
made in the flooring of the second floor, so that, in fact, an 
" upper room '' served the purpose of a gallery. The con- 
gregation was thus kept together for five months ; this tem- 
porary building being crowded with hearers, and many were 
imable to obtain admission during the whole time. 

The new chapel was enlarged so as to be capable ©f con- 
taining 1,600 persons (together with schools adjoining for 
500 cmldren) at a cost of about £5^000. 

On the last Sunday evening service in the temporary 
building, 4th November, 1848, Mr. Harrison preached an 
appropriate sermon on the text from Exodus, xxxiii. 15, 16, 
"If thy presence go not with me, carry me not up hence ; 
for wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people 
have found grace in thy sight, is it not in that thou goest 
with us P'' The solemn impression made by the preacher on 
that occasion is still well remembered. 

On Thursday, November 8th, the Rev. Thomas Binney 
preached in the momiiig, and the Rev. James Parsons of 
York, in the evening, at the opening services in the restored 


Nearly twenty-six years have passed since that day ; the 
chapel has been long free from debt, while uninterrupted 
progress and harmony have marked those years. Every 
church and chapel is an institution of incalculable usefulness ; 
a means of diffusing light and truths and consolation^ and 
pecuniary aid to the destitute ; and Park Ohapel has been 
foremost amongst those of its denomination in the neigh- 
bourhood in aiding these great objects. 

The success, however, has mainly depended upon the 
presiding spirit — the pastor. He it is who sets in motion 
the whole machinery. All look up to him, and it is a true 
and •ften quoted saying — " like pastor like peoplq.'' 

Considerable eloquence and a character of unusual excel- 
lence have secured for the Rev. J. C. Harrison, from his 
first settlement until the present time, the attendance of a 
crowded congregation. With the exception of an illness, 
which compelled entire cessation from his pastoral duties for 
ten months in the year 1864, Mr. Harrison has been unre- 
mitting and unwearied in his efforts for the salvation of sinners 
and the edification of believers. In his preaching he never fails 
to make evident the greatness of the blessings offered in the 
Gospel; and its sanctifying and subduing influence upon all 
who receive it. His earnest eloquence, aided by the advan- 
tages of a good voice and commanding presence, contribute 
much to secure attention ; but the well-known consistency 
of his life and character is the secret by which he has secured 
and maintained for so many years the chief position amongst 
his brethren in the ministry in Camden Town. 

From the Year Book issued to the members and subscribers 
of Park Chapel, we learn that more than £2,000 are volun- 
tarily subscribed for Christian and secular instruction^ and 
various benevolent objects carried on in the year. 

The insufficient accommodation in the school-rooms ad- 
joining the chapel led to the erection of the handsome and 
commodious building in Grove-street in 1865. The upper 
rooms are so contrived as to serve the purpose of a Lecture 
Hall, which for size and appearance is unequalled in the 
neighbourhood. It is a misfortune that so handsome a 
structure should be entirely hidden ; this is due no doubt to 
the difficulty of obtaining ground in a more eligible position. 
However, the object in view has been accomplished in the 
providing well- ventilated school accommodation for between 
600 and 700 week-day and Sunday scholars. 


Witli the view of showing Mr. Harrison's estimate of the 
duty of the Church of Christ towards the working classes, we 
extract from his Address to the church and congregation 
contained in the Year Book for 1867, the following excellent 
conclusions. After stating it to be his desire to remove all 
dass distinctions in religious worship, he says : — 

^* How we may best influence our poorer brethren for good 
is indeed a problem which it is difficult to solve. Without 
attempting to break down those providential distinctions 
which exist in society, I do think that professing Christians 
should mix more with the poor, and, not by sending help, or 
merely going when help is needed, but by speaking kind and 
cordial words at other times, and by unmistakable indica- 
tions of interest, make the poor feel that the disciples are 
like their Lord, and that Christians do love men as men, and 
not only man when he belongs to a certain class. By such 
free intercourse we should get to understand them better, — 
we should be better able to meet their difficulties or pre- 

i'udices, their particular states of mind or feeling. We might 
lelp in promoting the comfort of their dwellings, and so 
enable them to understand the charm of home. We should 
prove to them that the G-ospel is a uniting not a separat- 
ing power, that it is not a human expedient to secure order 
and due subordination of class to class, but a divine method 
to give elevation and happiness to all, and to make the many 
truly one. Let me add, that the Christian portion of the 
working classes must seek for more union among themselves, 
and strive hard to form a public opinion which shall render 
blasphemy, filthy talking, and intemperance in workshops 
scandalous, and which shall make it an honour, not a reproach, 
to a poor family that they go, and go regularly, to the house 
of God. Above all, we should abound in prayer that God 
himself would baptize the poor with his spirit that so our 
labours may be successful, and they may become riph in faith 
and heirs of a kingdom which he hath promised to them that 
love Him." 



CAMDEN TOWN (continued) : — camden-street ; camden hall ; 

QUENCE ; ST. martin's almshouses ; BAYHAM-STBEET, AND 

Camdbn-strbet appears to have been originally intended to 
assume the proportions of the principal street of the town. 
The first fourteen houses were erected at the beginning of 
the present century ; others of a similar character were added 
a few years afterwards, and vaults made, with the intention 
of continuing the street. The ground on the west side was 
first occupied as a garden, and a row of poplar trees was 
planted in the frontage. Then it became known as the 
mushroom grounds, till it was taken by the London School 
Board, and will ere long be occupied with large school build- 
ings and playground. The comer house by King-street, be- 
longing to the Camden Hall Company, was occupied sixty 
years since by a city merchant as his country house; it 
became afterwards a boarding school for young ladies ; later 
still it was taken by a Mr. Hart, who erected the Hall for 
his school-room, and it was known as " Hart's School-room." 
till it passed out of his hands, and, after various fortunes and 
misfortunes, passed into those of its present lessees, who hold 
it for twenty-one years. Camden Hall has long been 
associated with religious and moral efibrts, as well as with 
the promotion of saving habits, in its building societies and 
penny bank. 

The houses in this part of the street have been occupied by 
some who were well known in the world of letters. Dr. Kitto 


resided at the original No. 1 for a time. At No. 6 for many 
years could have been seen Dr. Leifohild, whose genial 
manners and happy countenance are still remembered in the 
neighbourhood ; he adhered, to the last, to the old style of 
dress, not giving up the gaiters of the last century. 

In the centre of the ground on the east side where the 
Wesleyan Chapel and a few houses have since been erected, 
once stood a very humble dwelling, — indeed it might have 
been called a hovel, occupied by a somewhat notorious 
character, in her day known as *' Mother Hussey '^ ; but her 
occupation as a grower of common garden flowers and her 
poor and desolate appearance led the neighbours to com- 
miserate her condition ; some woidd send her gifts of food 
and money, and others purchased her plants. At last the 
ground was too valuable to continue to be so occupied, and it 
was let to the present lessees for the remainder of the term. 
So the old woman left, being taken into Shropshire by a 
nephew. She lived but some six months only in her new 
abode, where she was taught the external use of water ; pro- 
bably from having been for so many years unacquainted with 
its use, she fell ill and died, leaving behind her about £2,000 
in the funds ! This old woman was the widow of one, who 
took part in the atrocities committed at West-end Fair, 
Hampstead, in 1817. So barbarous was the conduct of the 
ruffians, that they set upon the people as they were leaving 
the fair, pulling the earrings out of the females' ears, and 
maltreating those who tried to defend them, that some 
died of their wounds. An inhabitant of Camden Town 
was about returning home early in the evening, when 
seeing the violent conduct of large gangs of gipsies and 
others, he went back and found refuge in " Algar's dancing 
booth,'' and remained all night, with a large number of 
people crowded there with the same object. Parties of young 
men armed with sticks defended the entrance to the booth, 
while the dancing was kept up inside. 

Some of the ruffians^ were afterwards recognised by the 
turnpike-man in the Edgware-road, who had been robbed 
by them. Hussey and some others were found guilty, and 
executed, and West-end Fair was for ever afterwards 

The unfinished nondescript style of Camden-street has no 
doubt been observed by many inhabitants, who wonder that 
improvement is not made and greater uniformity produced. 


But the present state is dae to the fact that many specula- 
tive builders bought land for building purposes at the 
beginning of the present century, and some began to build 
''but were unable to finish;" hence, various persons hold 
the land, and there is no help at present for its irregular 
appearance. Between King-street and Pratt- street, great 
improvements might be effected. The occupiers of '^ Belle- 
vue " Cottages certainly cannot be much gratified with the 
" beauty *' of the prospect before them. 

In the centre cottage poor '^ Tom Sayers '' dwelt for the last 
two or three years of hiis short but eventful career. He was then 
reposing upon his laurels, earned by his pugilistic encounter 
with Heenan the American champion, in 1860. That con- 
test was taken up by almost all classes as a national affair. 
At the Stock Exchange Tom was applauded as a hero, and a 
purse of £1,000 was given to him for his heroic conduct, on 
the understanding that from that time he retired from the 
*' Ring.'* In his retirement he alternated between public 
" receptions " in various parts of the country, and even on 
board a man-of-war, and nis cottage and garden in Camden 
Town. Busts of Lords Palmerston and Russell were placed 
on pedestals at the entrance, and beds of flowers and gravel 
walks gave a cheerful appearance to his cottage. In three 
years all was over. Pulmonary consumption, induced by his 
severe encounter, and hastened by other habits, shortened his 
life. His funeral in Highgate Cemetery attracted together 
nearly all the ruffians of the metropolis. A profile of '^ poor 
Tom and a representation of his favourite dog, without any 
inscription, mark the spot of his interment ; and though sur- 
rounded by the monuments of multitudes of wiser and better 
men, that of Sayers has hitherto been the most popidar 

At the corner of Camden-strc^t and Pratt-street, is St. 
Stephen^s Parish Church, which when erected in 1824, was 
called Camden Chapel. It was built simultaneously with St. 
Pancras New Church by means of a rate levied on the parish- 
ioners, which occasioned great dissatisfaction at the time, 
on account of the extravagant cost of the Parish Church, the 
groimd on which it stands costing £6,695, the contractors and 
a number of other expenses amounting altogether to £82,701. 

The new churches in the metropolis were necessarily the 
subject of criticism in the publications of the day. The 
'^ Literary Chronicle/' a journal published in 1824, had an 


article devoted to the subject of the " New Church in Camden 
Town.'* The writer remarked : " On the whole, we consider 
it highly creditable to the taste of the architects, and an ac- 
quisition to the architectural beauties of the metropolis. 
When viewed at a distance" (it could be seen from a distance 
at that time, as no houses obstructed the view) *' its general 
form is not particularly pleasing. The tower does not har- 
monize well with the body of the structure. The building is 
most advantageously seen at a short distance from the portico, 
where all the beautiful details and execution of the front are 
conspicuous. This portion of the structure is, indeed, almost 
the only one in which any aim has been made at architectural 
effect, and it would therefore not be quite fair to criticise too 
narrowly the other elevations, which are merely of white brick" 
(they are black now), " and with no attempt at decoration. 
A semi-circular portico of four Ionic columns, and antss, 
(or corner pillars) form the principal entrance, on each side of 
which is a door, in a similar style to that in the centre. The 
ceiling of this portico is in the form of a half dome. The 
columns may be considered as the Grecian Ionic. The front 
is chaste and elegant ; as is likewise the tower which rises 
above it. The interior, which may be considered as a St. 
Pancras in minature, is fitted up with much taste and 
simplicity ; and if there is anything to which we should be 
disposed to object it is that its uniform white tint is rather 
fatiguing to tne eye.*' 

In 1824, the ^^ white brick *' and stone of which Camden 
Chapel was built, was relieved by the surrounding green 
fields. The services were then and for many years after in 
the morning and afternoon only, and were conducted in the 
old and simple style of the period. The Eeverend Alexander 
Charles Louis D'Arblay, p£ Christchurch, Cambridge, was 
appointed perpetual curate, and continued so almost omtil his 
death in 1836, when he was a comparatively young man. 
His mother, the once popular authoress of " Evelina," and 
daughter to Dr.. Burney, died in 1840. The reverend gentle- 
man was her only son, and he frequently visited his mother 
at Bath, where she spent the last years of her life, and where 
the first minister of Camden Chapel also died. 

The Rev. E. P. Hannam succeeded Mr. D'Arblay, and had 
for many years the satisfaction of seeing his church well 
attended. It was to this gentleman's earnestness, zeal, and 
judgment, and the ability he possessed to awaken and enlist 


the sympathy and co-operation of his congregation, that the 
district owed the kindred institutions which during his in- 
cumbency conferred such benefits upon the neighbourhood 
and won for their projector from Bishop Blomfield the com- 
plimentary title of a model parochial clergyman. The very 
pretty school-house adjoining was built in 1847, and became 
a means of great usefulness in the neighbourhood. Perhaps 
no more picturesque sight is to be seen in Camden Town than 
these schools. The rustic porch, with trained creeping plants 
around it, and till lately the passion flower in front of the 
building, and the weU-hept garden, all convey the idea of 
order and beauty. The parsonage house, erected during 
Mr. Hannam's ministry (a mark of the esteem of his con-> 
gregation), is a well planned commodious dwelling, and is 
built on a part of what was originally a lawn, at the east 
end of the church. 

In 1857, Mr. Hannam, to the great regret and surprise of 
his parishioners, exchanged his living with the present in- 
cumbent, the Rev. Mr. Fitzgerald, for that of Borden, near 
Sittingboume, in Kent. Eventually ill health compelled him 
to retire from active duty, and on the 19th May 1868, he 
entered into rest. 

During Mr. Hannam's ministry, the church was invariably 
crowded; but whatever may be the cause, a very small 
congregation attends here now, though the attractions of 
music and a more decided regard for ceremony prevail, 
circumstances which in the case of some other churches 
succeed in drawing numbers, especially of the young, to the 
services. It would be invidious to say more. Those who 
remember the best days of St. Stephen's Parish Church must 
sincerely regret the present contrast, and hope for their 
speedy return. 

While ^' Camden Chapel " was *being erected, a tramway 
was laid down from the canal bridge to convey the stone and 
other materials from the barges to the site of the church. 
There were no buildings, however, till after the Camden 
Boad was formed, Jbut as early as the year 1811, Mr. Lever 
obtained from the Marquis of Camden a large piece of land 
at the Kentish Town Bead end of the line of Camden-street, 
on which he erected the houses now known as Camden 
Terrace East, and Moccas Cottages on the opposite side, the 
triangular space between being enclosed by iron railings, and 
If^id out and planted as an ornamental pleasure garden for 


the sole use of the inhabitants, each house being proper* 
tionately rated for that purpose. In 1827, the leaseholder 
and builder, Mr. G-eorge Lever, conyeyed to the parochial 
authorities the trust for its continuance, they levying a gar- 
den rate for its support. The trust was performed until the 
year 1846, when the North London Railway cut through the 
garden, " each house receiving compensation, and the parish 
authorities £100, to reinstate the garden that had been 
damaged by the railway works." Nothing was done for five 
years, and the ground was let by the vestry to a market 
gardener, with the consent of the inhabitants, they having 
the privilege of admission as heretofore. " The gardener 
cut down the trees, bushes, hedges, &c., leaving but two 
solitary trees as sad mementoes of the garden^s former beauty,'' 
and in 1864 he had notice to quit. When, in 1866, the 
Railway Company widened their line, the '' Vestry, without 
consulting the inhabitants in any way, sold the company 210 
square yards for the absurd sum of £75. They built on 254 
yards ; this was pointed out to the Vestry, but no action was 
taken. In 1868 the Vestry sold 400 square yards for £140, 
and exchanged 84 more for a piece at King's Cross ; these sales 
being effected entirely without the knowledge of the inhabi- 
tants. Thus the parish authorities had received on account 
of the Camden Terrace Enclosure £545, and expended Nil." 
The facts above quoted were ascertained and reported upon, 
in 1872, by a committee of the inhabitants particularly 
interested, who, by incessant agitation of their claim upon 
the Vestiy to restore to the rightful guardians the piece of 
land that for twenty-six years had been the eyesore of the 
neighbourhood, ''succeeded in adding considerably to its 
respectability and to the comfort of the inhabitants.'' The 
Vestry refunded the money they had received, and the rail- 
way company pulled down the ugly blocking of two of the 
arches ; but only by the persistent unwearied action of those 
whose rights had been overridden by a "powerful and 
irresponsible body '' were the Vestry impelled not only to pre- 
vent various nuisances being continued, but to restore to the 
residents their undoubted right to the " Camden Garden " 
for their own pleasure and recreation, and for the general 
improvement of the neighbourhood. The gardens were laid 
out and formally re-opened on Saturday, 1st June 1872, 
and a meeting of the Garden Ratepayers to elect the com- 
mittee for the ensuing year, took place in the easternmost 


arcli of the enclosure, when the band of the 29th I^orth 
Middlesex Rifle Volunteers attended and played during the 
eyening. Thus the Garden again smiles upon the passer-by, 
improving year by year, and also is a protest against cor- 
poration injustice and official neglect. 

Opposite St. Stephen's Church is St. Martin's Cemetery, 
the entrance to it being in Pratt-street. When the Vicar 
and Churchwardens of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields selected 
this site for the new burial place for their parishioners, the 
locality was all pasture land, irrigated by natural watercourses 
and brooks. They obtained an Act of Parliament in 1803, 
'^ for providing an additional burial ground, and for erecting 
a chapel thereon, and also for a house for the residence of a 
clergyman to officiate in burying the dead." The land is 
described as being " a piece of ground containing by ad- 
measurement four acres, situate in the parish of St. Pancras^ 
being part of two fields, one called Upper Meadow and the 
other Upper Brook Meadow.'^ Under that Act compensa- 
tion was awarded to John Jefireys Earl Camden, and Dr. 
Hamilton, Prebend of Cantelowes, joint parties to the agree- 
ment. To Earl Camden, the senior cnurchwarden of St. 
Martin's parish engaged to pay the "clear rentcharge or 
annual sum of £100, to the impropriator of the great tithes 
Is. 4d., and to the Vicar of St. Pa*ncras for the time being, 
for his own use, a clear rentcharge or annual sum, equal in 
amount as near as can be ascertained to the aggregate 
amount of all tithes, offerings, &c., which the said vicar did 
receive or was entitled unto for the year ending at Easter 
next before the passing of this Act, from the former occupiers 
thereof; and to the senior churchwarden of St. Pancras for 
the use of the parishioners of the said parish a clear rent- 
charge or annual sum of £5.^' 

The Act provides that the ground and buildings for the 
purposes of the burial ground shall be for ever free from all 
taxes, rates, &c., to any other parish than St. Martin's ; but that 
in case " any houses or buildings'^ should at anytime thereafter 
be erected '' upon any part of the said ground " such build- 
ings should be liable to the payment of all taxes, rates, &c., 
to the parish of St. Pancras. 

This cemetery was consecrated by the celebrated Dr. Beilby 
Porteus, Bishop of London, on the 12th September 1805. 

The most noted character whose remains were deposited in 
this churchyard is that of ^Charles Dibdin, 


On his monument is inscribed a verse ' from his sonff 
"Tom Bowling/' 

** His form was of the manliest beauty, 
His heart was kind and sofb» 
Faithful below, he did his duty, 
But now he's gone aloft." 

The incidents in the life of a man whose spirit still lives 
amongst us cannot fail to be interesting. 

Charles Dibdin was bom at Southampton in 1745, when 
his mother was in her 60th year, he being her eighteenth 
child. Charles was educated in Winchester, and intended 
for the Church, but his love of music predominated, and after 
receiving instruction from the celebrated Kent, organist of 
Winchester Cathedral, he commenced his career in London 
as poet and musician at the age of sixteen. He produced the 
'* Shepherd s Artifice," an opera, at Covent Garden Theatre, 
written and composed by himself ; he became an actor, then 
musical manager, and idtimately distinguished himself by 
his Entertainments, in which he was sole author, composer, 
and performer. In the one entitled *' The Whim of the 
Moment '' he introduced seventeen songs, amongst which 
was the ballad " Poor Jack,'' — an effusion of genius that 
immediately established his reputation as a lyric poet and 
melodist. Without any provision for the future, he retired 
from public life in 1805, and lived in Grove-street, Camden 
Town, for several years. Government granted him a pension 
of £200 a year on account of the services he had rendered 
to his country ; he was deprived of it for a time by Lord 
GrenviUe, but it was restored by a more liberal ministry. 
He died of paralysis, on the 25th of July, 1814, aged 69 years, 
and, as the stone records, his remains were interred here. 
They may be disturbed, and churchyard desecrators may not 
'' let him sleep on," but let us fain hope that, with " Poor 
Tom, his soul has gone aloft.'' Dibdin wrote the amazing 
number of 1,400 songs and thirty dramatic pieces, three 
novels, a " History of the Stage," his " Professional Life," 
"A Musical Tour," &c. "Tom Bowling" was written on 
the death of his brother Thomas, who was captain of an 
East-Indiaman and father of Dr. Thomas Frognall Dibdin. 
Charles' son Thomas, also an author and actor, received an 
allowance from the Lords of the Admiralty for compiling an 
edition of his father's songs, shortly before his own death. 



Only 80 recently as the commencement of the Crimean War 
an edition of Dibdin's songs was ordered by the Admiralty 
to be printed for circulation at the various sea-ports and 
amongst the sailors in the fleet — an additional tribute to the 
merit of their author. In the **Harmonicon" published in 
1824^ the following estimate is given of Dibdin's influence 
as an author. *^ Had Dibdin written merely to amuse^ his 
reputation would have been great ; but it stands the higher 
because he is always on the side of virtue. Humanity, con- 
stancy, love of country, and courage are the subjects of his 
song and the themes of his praise : and while it is known 
that many a national foe, wnether contending or subdued, 
has experienced the mercy of his precepts, we are willing to 
believe that the sufferings which the lower order of the 
creation are too commonlv doomed to endure have now and 
then been a trifle mitigated through the influence of his 
persuasive verse." 

About the centre of the north-west wall is a stone record- 
ing, in Latin, the name and honours of Dr. George Swiney, 
who died 12th February 1844, aged 50 years. He resided 
for fifteen years, at 9, Grove-street, in almost complete seclu- 
sion, going abroad seldom more than four or five times in 
a year. The number of persons congregated to witness his 
fuaeral was so great that a large body of police was con- 
sidered necessary to keep order. A yellow velvet pall, edged 
with white silk, was thrown over the coffin, which was covered 
with yellow cloth and white nails. Then followed three 
young girls in white with violet coloured cloaks, and straw 
bonnets trimmed with white satin ribbon, all according to the 
instructions of his will. The effect produced was that rather 
of a wedding than a funeral, which occasioned much hissing 
and hooting on reaching the burial ground. The relatives who 
followed wore the usual mourning habits, but were compelled 
to return in hired cabs, to escape from the mass of people 
which surrounded the chapeL While Dr. Swiney lived, he 
was known only as an eccentric person who secluded himself 
from all society, and at his death he left about forty thousand 
pounds which he bestowed by will upon various charities, 
and five thousand pounds to the Trustees of the British 
Museiun for a lectureship on geology, to be called the Swiney 
Lecture. The will was disputed by his brother , on the ground 
of unsoundness of mind of the testator, but a court of law 
decided against him, which decision left him to battle with 


needy circumstances. Dr. Cobbold received £144 for 
Lectures on Q-eology in 1872. The dividends on stock 
produce £161 yearly for the **Swiney Lectureship." 

A large tomb at the back of tne cemetery chapel is to 
tlie memory of Sir John Barrow, bart., who accompanied 
Lord Macartney's embassy to China, and was for forty years 
Secretary to the Admiralty. He died in 1848; in his 85th 

Some thirteen years ago, St. Martin's Cemetery, or ** place 
of rest or sleep/' as the word means, was a scene of a dis- 
turbance disgraceful to all parties who gave occasion for it. 
Without disputing the necessity for closing churchyards 
which have in process of time become crowded, and thereby 
injurious to the multitudes surrounding them, sufficient con- 
sideration has not been shown by some authorities for the 
feelings of the survivors of those who have been interred 
under the idea that there they would remain till the Judg- 
ment Day. It was but natural, then, that the inhabitants of 
the neighbourhood should have been aroused, and that they 
should, as with the will of one man, have stopped the wholesale 
preparations made for the building on this ''consecrated'' 
ground. That the navvies employed by the builder might 
the more quietly di^ the foundations for a row of houses on 
the Camden-street side, a light boarding was put up. The 
navvies were said to have been primed with drink, and 
pursued their work with such indecency that a woman saw, 
from the window of a room in Caroline-street, one of those 
men hold up the body of an infant. She became infuriated 
with indignation, and the neighbourhood was at length so 
aroused that the hoarding was pulled down, and set fire to, 
and only the assemUing of a strong body of police prevented 
more serious mischief being done. The navvies were pelted 
by the people, and ran for their lives, while the windows 
of the house in which thebuilder lived were entirely demo- 
lished, and he in all probability would have been roughly used 
had he not made his escape. 

Though the righteous indignation of the people was visited 
upon the men employed to do this disgraceful work, the real 
offenders escaped. The authorities of St. Martin's parish 
stated that no bodies had ever been buried in that part of the 
ground ; but the evidence to the contrary was so conclusive 
that the ground was again levelled, and an injimction com- 
pelled justice to be done to the feelings of the inhabitants 

s 2 


whiob liad been so outraged. The writer was on tlie spot 
the day after the disturbance took place— it was Sunday — 
and the evidences of the recent desecration were only too 

The instinct even of so-called savages leads them almost 
superstitiously to reverence the burial-places of their dead, and 
some of the nations of antiquity by their civil and religious 
code made it a crime to violate the tomb : how much greater 
the guilt of civilised English churchwardens, who, for 
the sake of money, outraged the feelings of our common 
humanity only a few years ago in St. Martin's burial- 

Public attention should be called to the dilapidated and 
unsightly condition of this and other closed graveyards. 
Why should not a grant of public money, if necessary, be 
made to lay out these '' places of rest " as gardens with well- 
kept walks, so that the many spots sacred to memory might 
be visited by surviving friends. Now that buildings are rapidly 
covering every open space, it is worth agitating for the 
preservation of sacred ground — paid for by, and therefore 
rightly belonging to, those who ought to be considered the 

Since the closing of the church-yard, utilitarianism has 
been at work : the necessity for the services of the chaplain 
no longer existing, his residence has been let as an ordinary 
dwelling ; and the chapel, which for more than half a century 
resounded with the solemn words of the burial service, is 
appropriated to the use of the 29th (North) Middlesex Rifle 
Volunteers, as their head quarters, and now frequently re* 
sounds with the martial music of their band. More recently 
it has been used as a temporary school-house by the School 
Board of London. Houses and shops meet on either side 
of the building, the nearest on the west side being the St., 
Martin's Tavern — an incongrui^ somewhat displeasing to 
those who have an eye for the '' fitness of things." 

Originally, St. Martin's Cemetery was surrounded by a 
substantial eight- feet wall, but in 1817 the parish authorities 
of St. Martin's erected, on the Bayham- street side, alms- 
houses for the poor of their parish ; each house has still a 
vine uniformly trained up in front. 

From an official statement, we learn that " The full estab- 
lishment of these Almshouses consists of seventy widows and 
unmarried women who have been housekeepers in the parish 


of St. Martki's ; they receive 32b. or 428. 6d. per calendar 
month, according to the several foundations to which they 
have been elected. Those labouring under sickoess or other 
infirmities are provided with nurses at the charge of the 
funds. A chaplain attends at chapel on Sunday and Thurs- 
day in each week, to perform divine service ; they are also 
attended by an eminent medical gentleman, and are furnished 
with medicine free of charge. The Vestry having found that 
several applicants for the alms fund preferred receiving the 
out-pension and living with their friends instead of residing 
in the Almshouses, have during the last fe^ years, elected the 
most deserving applicants as out -pensioners, by which means 
the alms fund has been distributed amongst a larger number 
of out-pensioners than formerly/' 

The alms fund arises from a legacy by Mrs. Wood of £9,100, 
and other sources, amounting to a total of £13,606 19s. 9d. 
in the 3 per cent, consols. There is also another deed 
of gift of £50 by Mrs. Susan Grahme, and of £20 by Sir 
Charles Gotterell, the excellent linguist and scholar of the 
17th century. He was master of the requests to Charles the 
Second, an office which was filled by his descendants for 
several generations. He translated several works from the 
French, Spanish and Italian. This gift for eight almswomen 
on his foundation was conferred in 1686, the year before his 
death. The gift of Mrs. G-rahme was conferred also in 1 686, 
and was for four almswomen on her foundation. These sums 
are paid to those 12 almswomen monthl}'' (by the Yicar or 
his deputy) who form a part of the 70 almswomen in these 
Almshouses, independently of the monthly pay they each 
receive from the foundation. 

It is not to be expected that almshouses built more than 
fifty years since should have the internal conveniences and 
sanitary appointments of the present day ; but we venture 
to suggest that improvements might be made for the com- 
fort and even the necessities of the inmates. Each poor old 
lady has but one small room, which evidently serves the pur- 
pose of sitting-room, bed-room, and kitchen. Two of the 
houses have been appropriated for those who need medical 
attendance and nursings thus conceding the necessity for the 
existence of an infirmary. Without the slightest intention 
of casting any reflection on those who have the management 
of these almshouses, perhaps if they were to visit the St. 
Pancras Almshouses (which have no endowment for their 


support)^ a similar institution, or the Governesses Asylum 
as now carried on at Chislehurst — the visit might lead to 
improvements being made in these almshouses, in accordance 
with the sanitary and social advancement of the present day 
in such institutions. 

As Pratt-street is a memorial of the family name of the 
Marquis Camden, so Bayham-street was named after Bayham 
Abbey, in Sussex, one of the seats of the Marquis. Bayham- 
street was built by Mr. Lever in 1812, he occupying No. 1 
himself for many years. The first inhabitants were princi- 
pally retired tradesmen, and some were professioncd men. 
To enumerate them would be matter of no interest in the 
present day. Some were the *' country houses '* of those 
whose shops were " in town.^' The quiet life of one of these 
inhabitants, a retired draper, may be referred to as a fair 
specimen, and one befitting the '^ gloaming '' of life. It was 
a contrast to the *' dying in harness," so common now. The 
repose and contemplation of the former day is notwithstand- 
ing often envied by those who too commonly in a feverish 
worry live and die. The old gentleman referred to, musing, 
on a winter's evenings with his gaitered legs crossed, and 
enjoying the childish sports of his ward — an orphan youth — 
and his companion, a neighbour's child, is a picture of the 
past age. On the Saturday evening the prayer books were 
brought out, and the lessons for the coming day were marked. 
The family consisted of the housekeeper, servant, and the 
ward, who all attended the then newly-erected Camden 
Chapel. One peculiarity consisted in the health- drinking at 
supper ; every time the jug of home-brewed was partaken of 
each one detaUed the individuals present according to seniority 
and position. A tomb in St. Martin*s church-yard records 
the last resting-place of the old gentleman, Edward Colemere, 
Esq., in 1831. 

Bayham-street has become associated with the name of the 
celebrated Charles Dickens ; but the character of the neigh- 
bourhood when, as a child, he for a short time lived in it, is in- 
correctly described as " squalid." The " miseries " he then had 
to ** deplore '* were arising from adverse circumstances ; not 
from the house in which he lived. Living at the time re- 
ferred to in that street, the writer of these remarks felt 
impelled to send the following letter to the editor of the 
"Daily Telegraph,^* which elicited others, confirming the 
correctness of his description : — 


Sir, — In the interentiog notice of the *'Life of Charles Dickens," by 
John Forster, in Monday's *' Daily Telegraph," your reviewer says : ** Soon 
Charles had to deplore the miseries of a squalid neighbourhood ; for his 
embarrassed parent had to remove to a poor house in Bayham-street, Cam- 
den Town, where 'a washerwoman lived next door, and a Bow-street officer 
lived over the way/ He felt crushed and chilled by the change from the life 
at Chatham, breezy and full of colour, to the little back garret in Bayham- 
street.'* Mr. Forster says : ^* He took, from the beginniog of his Bayham- 
street life, bis first impression of that struggling poverty which is nowhere 
more vividly shown than in the commoner streets of the ordinary London 

Fifty years ago, Camden Town, like some other London suburbs, was but a 
village. Bayham-street had grass struggling through the newly-paved road. 
There were not more than some twenty or, at most, thirty newly- erected 
houses in it. These were occupied by, No. 1 , Mr. Lever, the builder of the 
houses; No. 2, Mr. Engelhart, a then celebrated engraver; No. 8, Captain 
Blake,No. 4, a retired linen draper, one of the " old school " ; No. 5, by my father 
and his family ; No. 6, by a retired merchant, two of who!>e sons have made 
their mark, one as an artist and another as the author of ** True to the Core " 
At No. 7, lived a retired hairdresser, who, like most others there, had a lease 
of his house. In another lived a Regent-street jeweller ; and so I could 
enumerate the inhabitants of this *' squalid neighbourhood." When Charles 
Dickens lived there it must have been about the year 1822 ; and at that time 
and long afterwards, the description given by his biographer of its character 
is a perfect caricature of a quiet street in what was then but a village. I was 
then a boy of some six years of age, and to my childish apprehension, it was a 
country village. Mr. Lever's field was at the back of the principal row of 
houses, in which haymaking was enjoyed in its season, and it was, indeed, a 
beautiful walk across the fields to Copenhagen House. Camden-road then 
was not. The village watchman's box was at one end of the street by the Red 
Cap tea-gardens. ** Old Lorimer," who lived in Queen-street— then with 
gardens and a field in front of but one row of houses — was the only constable. 
. Occasionally robberies of articles in the outhouses caused some consternation, 
but gas had not then arrived to enlighten the darkness of this " squalid 

Was not Dickens at that time sickly in body, and might it not have affected 
his vision ? At any rate, as a man, he should have viewed his early privatoins 
but as a preparation and a schooling for his subsequent distinguished career as 
a painter of living characters and scenes; but I think truth should be 
observed even in attempts to show strong contrasts. 

Justice should be done to places as well as to persons, and so I have ven- 
tured to speak a word in defence of a neighbourhood which, to me, seemed a 
green and a pleasant spot, though it may now have somewhat degenerated.-— 

I am. Sir, yours obediently, F. M. 

Kentish Town, Dec. 6. 

Sir, — Permit me to add some details to the interesting and accurate 
account of Bayham-street, Camden Town, by *' F. M.," in your issue of this 
day. As a boy I was a constant visitor at one of the houses occupied by the 
late Mr. Holl the celebrated engraver, the father of Mr. Frank HoU, and of 
the late William HoU, engravers, and of Mr. Henry Holl the actor and novelist. 
Mr. Charles Rolls, another artist of note, in addition to Mr. Engelhart, and to 
Mr. Henry Selous the painter, aud Mr. Angelo Selous the dramatic author, 
resided in Bayham-street. The private theatricals at the late Mr. HoU's re- 
sidence will not be forgotten, as all the gentlemen just named took parts 
therein, as also another actor, who is no more, Mr. Benjamin Holl. The 
houses in Bayham-street, were small, but the locality half a century since was 
regarded as a suburb of London. Fields had to be crossed to reach it, on 


which the best houaes of Camden Town hsve been smoe erected. The deicrip- 
tion of Bayham-street by the late Charles Dickens most haTO been prompted 
by. personal privations. What a romance he could have created oat of the 
house occupied by Mr. Holl, where was concealed for mouths young Watson, 
who was implicated in the treasonable attempt for which his father and 
ThiBtlewood were tried and acquitted —the latter not taking warning by his 
escape on that occasion, for he afterwards concocted the Cato-street conspir- 
acy, for which he was executed at Newgate. Toung Watson shot a gunmaker 
in Hnow-hill, for which his comrade Cashman, the sailor, was hanged, Mr. 
Holl was a Reformer in days when it was looked upon as treason to differ from 
the GoTernment. He gave shelter to young Watson, having been on intimate 
terms with his father, Dr. Watson. Mr. U611 contrived the escape to America 
of Watson, junior, disguising him as a Quaker. Bayham-street was occupied 
by men of advanced poUtical opinions, some of whom lived to see their 
notions realised. — ^I am, Sir, yours obediently, C.L. G. 

Garrick Club, Dec. 7. 

Sir, — Mr. Forster tells us that in his early youth Charles Dickens lived in 
Baybam-street, Camden Town ; and your correspondent, "F.M.," m the ''Daily 
Telegraph,'* of to-day, calls in qoestion the accuracy of the narrative. I have 
a perfect recollection of Bayham-street thirty -years ago, and took a stroll up 
it this morning to see if 1 could trace the house to which Mr. Forster refers. 
On entering the street from Crowndale-road I literally rubbed my eyes with 
astonishment. There is a public-house at the comer, the sign of which is 
The Hope and Anchor. When last I noticed it the name over the door was 
"Barker,'' now it is "Dickens," Who shall say that this is not a world of 
strange coincidences when a Dickens comes to Bayham-street to live, just at 
the time when we get the record of a greater Dickens having once trotted 
round the corner where that public-house stands ? " F. M." seems to me to 
be in error about Bayham-street havinif been so respectable many years since. 
The block of houses to which he refers was at one end ; then came fields ; and 
lower down towards the Old St. Fancras-road, a lot of small houses or cot- 
tages with gardens in front, in one of which I presume the parents of Charles 
Dickens to have resided. There are still two houses remaining, near Pratt- 
Btreet, which I remember as being old houses twenty-five years ago. 

Yours very truly. E. P. H. 

Dec. 7. 

Sir, — With your permission, I would wish to correct an error made 
by yonr correspondent, " C. L. G." (who is otherwise very accurate), in 
his letter which appears in your impression of this day. " C. L. G." 
says that ' 'Mr. Holl gave shelter to young Watson, having been on intimate 
terms with his father. Dr. Watson." This was not the case. Mr. Holl 
had never seen the doctor or his son. In consequence of my mother 
having expressed some womanly sympathy for the unknown mother of 
this young man, in the shop of a person named Moggeridge, this same 
Moggeridge and a friend of his brought young Watson the following 
- night to my father's house, and appealed to him to save his life, by giv- 
ing him the shelter they could not obtain elsewhere. My father consented 
although at the risk of his own life, and young Watson remained in the 
house, in the character of a presumed pupil, for more than three monies, 
and only left it a few days previous to his escape to America. With that, 
however, my father had nothing to do. 

Those who may feel interested in the details of this piece of "romance" 
will find them in " Douglas Jerrold's Magazine," in which, at the request 
of my old friend Jerrold, I wrote, from documents then in my possession, 
an account of what actually took place, and subseqnent to my father's 


Tour other correspondent, ''E. P. H." in questioning the acouraoy of 
the statements made by " F. M." (whoso letter appeared in your issue of 
Thursday), forgets that '* ¥. M." speaks of Bayham-street fifty years 
ago, while he> " £. P. H." dates his recollection from twenty-five years 
back. "F. M." is strictly correct in all his details. Yours obediently, 
Notting-hill, Dec. 8. HENEY HOLL. 

The Bow-street officer (a most respectable man) lived ia 
the second house from the corner then leading to the fields, 
now occupied by Hamilton-street, so that the "poor house " 
opposite and next to the ^^washerwoman'' was the second 
from the turning by the ** Red Cap/' 

Then (in the days we are referring to) Bayham-street ex- 
tended from the almshouses to where the Camden-road now 
is. The tea-garden of the *^ Eed Cap " was opposite the last 
houses. Where Hamilton-street now commences was the way 
into the fields. The first field belonged to Mr. Lever, who 
allowed cricketing there in the season. The only building to 
be seen beyond was Copenhagen House and the Eloor Cloth 
Works. The former stood alone in the fields north of the 
metropolis, between Maiden-lane, the old road to Highgate 
on the west, and upwards of forty years since on the east by 
a very ancient north road, or bridleway, called Hagbush- 
lane, and also nearly in a line with Cornwall-place, Holloway. 
** Its name is said to have been derived from a Danish prince, 
or a Danish ambassador, having resided in it during a great 
jjlague in London : another representation is, that in the be- 
ginning of the seventeenth century, it was opened by a Dane, 
as a place of resort for his countrymen. Copenhagen is the 
name given to it in the map in Camden's Britannia, pub- 
lished in 1695." In the ''Every-day Book,'' edited by 
William Hone, various interesting particulars are collected 
respecting this house which will be reproduced in this place, 
for though Copenhagen House was not strictly speaking in St. 
Pancras, yet it forms a feature in our remembrances of the 
'* past '' of Camden Town : its white appearance in the dis- 
tance, and the pleasure of a walk through the fields towards 
it, is a joy worth retaining in memory^s wastO; and it is our 
desire to impart something of our pleasant remembrances to 
the reader. 

Mr. Hone took some pains to ascertain from an eye-witness 

• some particulars of the danger of Copenhagen House during 

the No-popery riots of 1780. He says, "About the year 

1770, this house was kept by a person named Harrington ; 

at his decease, the business was continued by his widow, 


wherein she was assisted for several years bj a yonng woman 
who came from Shropshire. This female assistant afterwards 
married a person named Tomes, and kept the ' Adam and 
Eve ' at Islington. When Mr. Hone saw her, in 1825, she 
was a widow, and from her he gathered that at the time of 
the London riots in the year 1780, a body of the rioters 

fassed Copenhagen House on their way to attack the seat of 
iord Mansfield, at Caen Wood ; happily they did not sack 
Copenhagen ; but Mrs. Harrington and her maid were so 
alarmed that they despatched a man to Justice Hyde, who 
sent a party of soldiers to garrison this important place, 
where they remained till the riots were quelled. From this 
spot the view of the nightly conflagrations in the metropolis 
must have been terrific." Mrs. Tomes told Mr. Hone that «he 
saw nine large fires at one time. 

On New Year's Day previous to this, the house was broken 
into after the family had retired to rest. ^* The burglars 
forced the kitchen window, and fired at what proved to be 
the salt-box only. They then ran up stairs with a dark 
lantern, tied the man and the woman servant; burst the 
lower pannel of Mrs. Harrington's room-door, while she 
secreted fifty pounds between her bed and the mattress, and 
three of them rushed to her bedside armed with a cutlass, 
crowbar, and pistol, while a fourth remained on the watch 
outside. They demanded her money ; and as she denied that 
she had any, they wrenched her drawers open with the crow- 
bar, refusing to use the keys she offered to them. In these 
they found about ten poimds belonging to her daughter, a 
little child, whom they threatened to murder unless she 
ceased crying, while they packed up all the plate, linen and 
clothes, which they carried off. They then went to the cellar, 
set all the ale-barrels running, broke the necks off the wine 
bottles, spilt the other liquors, and slashed a round of beef 
with their cutlasses. They then caroused in the kitchen, 
where they ate, drank, and sung, till they resolved to ' pinch 
the old woman, and make her find more money.' They ex- 
torted her hidden fifty pounds, and then threatened to cut 
her throat for the deception, but they at last departed with 
their plunder. Rewards were offered by the Government 
and the parish of Islington, for the apprehension of the felons ; 
in May following, one of them named Clarkson, was dis- 
covered, and hopes of mercy tendered to him if he would dis- 
cover his accomplices. This man was a watchmaker in 


Clerkenwell/the other three were tradesmen ; his informa- 
tion led to their discovery ; they were tried and executed, 
and Clarkson was pardoned ; though, some time afterwards, 
he also suffered death for obtaining a box of plate from the 
* White Horse/ in Fetter-lane, upon pretence that it had 
been sent thither by mistake. The robbery at Copenhagen 
House was so far fortunate to Mrs. Harrington, that she 
obtained a subscription considerably more in amount than 
what she had lost. Mr. Leader, the coachmaker, in Long 
Acre, who was her landlord, remitted to her a year's rent of 
the premises, which at that time was £30. The notoriety of 
the robbery increased the number of visitors, and additional 
rooms were built. Soon afterwards the house was noted for 
fives-playing. This last addition was almost accidental. * I 
made the first fives ball,^ said Mrs. Tomes, * that was ever 
thrown up against Copenhagen House. One Hickman, a 
butcher at Highgate, a countryman of mine used the house, 
and hearing me talk country, we talked about our coimtry 
sports, and amongst the rest fives. I told him we'd have a 
game some day. I laid down the stone in the ground my- 
self, and, against he came again, made a ball. I struck the 
ball the first blow, and he gave it the second, and so we 
played ; and as there was company they liked the sport, and 
it got talked of. This was the beginning of the fives-play, 
which since became so famous at Copenhagen House.' ^' 

A person named Orchard succeeded Mrs. Harrington. 
During his time the London Corresponding Society held 
meetings, in 1795, in the adjacent fields. " In 1812 it was 
proposed by a company of projectors to bring sea- water 
through iron pipes from the coast of Essex to Copenhagen 
fields ; and construct baths, which, according to the proposals, 
would yield 12^ per cent, on a capital of £200,000 ; but the 
subscription was not filled up, though the names of several 
eminent physicians sanctioned the undertaking, and so the 
project failed." 

Copenhagen House subsequently obtained a '*bad emi- 
nence," when kept by a man named Tooth, who encouraged 
brutal sports for the sake of the liquors he sold. *' On a 
Sunday morning the fives ground was filled by bull-dogs and 
ruffians, who lounged and drank to intoxication ; so many 
as fifty and sixty bull-dogs have been seen tied up to the 
benches at once, while their masters boozed and made match 
after match, and went out and fought their dogs before the 

368 srr. pangras — PAErr Ain> present. 

house, amid the uproar of idlers thus attracted to the scene 
of infamy. This lasted throughout every Sunday forenoon, 
and then the mob dispersed, and the vicinity was annoyed 
by the yells of the dogs and their drunken masters on their 
return home. At that time there was a common field where 
bulls were baited ; this was called the bull-field. These ex- 
cesses occasioned so much disturbance that the magistrates 
after repeated warnings to Tooth, refused him a licence in 
1816, and his successor refused to draw beer for any one who 
had a bull-dog at his heels, and thus abated the nuisance/^ 

Camden Town and the outskirts generally were greatly 
benefited by the law subsequently passed closing public- 
houses during the whole of the Sunday morning, a signal 
proof of the value of such repressive legislation being the 
comparative absence now of such scenes of disorder as were 
frequent formerly. 

In the year 1825, when Mr. Hone thus described Copen- 
hagen House and its neighbourhood, the Camden Road was 
being made. There was no direct road communicating 
between Holloway and Camden Town, and this road was cut 
to connect the eastern and western suburbs. In cutting this 
road near Copenhagen House it crossed the remains of an 
ancient north road called Hagbush-lane, which is described 
by Hone as the '' oldest north road, or ancient bridle-way to 
and from London and the northern parts of the kingdom.*' 
It certainly was then and for a few years afterwards one of 
our loveliest green lanes. It was well-known to every 
botanist on the west side of London. '* The wild onion, 
clowns-wound-wort, wake-robin, and other simples, lovely in 
their form, and of high medicinal repute to our old herbalists, 
take root, and seed and flower here in great variety. How 
long beneath the tall elms and pollard oaks, and the luxuriant 
beauties on the banks, the infirm may be suffered to seek 
health, and the healthy to recreate, who shall say ? Spoilers 
are abroad. 

''A scene like this, 
Would woo the careworn wise 

To moralise, 
And courting lovers court to tell their bliss. 
Had I a cottage here 
I'd be content ; for where 
I have my books 

I have old friends, 
Whose cheering looks 
Make me amends 



For coldnesses in men ; and so 
With them departed loDg ago. 

And with wild flowers and trees 

And with the living breese, 

And with the 'still small voice' 

W ithin, I would rejoice, 

And convjgrse hold, while breath 

Held me, and then — come Death." 

So wrote William Hone in 1825. Now, there is no trace 
left of the lane. Yilla residences occupy the place of the 
hedge-rows then being planted in the Camden-road. The 
Metropolitan Cattle Market now occupies the site of Copen- 
hagen Fields, and the Clock Tower is somewhat' about the 
position where Copenhagen-house once stood. 

When the Camden-road was first cut, it was named 
Holloway-road, it being a direct communication to and from 
Holloway. Its formation led to the building of Camden New 
Town ; then followed the villa residences, which made it as 
pleasant a road as any near London. Great alarm was 
excited among the inhabitants when the new MetropoUtan 
Cattle Market was proposed ; meetings were held, deputations 
formed, and memorials presented against the alleged innova- 
tion on the retirement of the neighbourhood ; but the work 
proceeded, and now no one seems at all effected by the 
dreaded ** nuisance." Indeed, the finest villas have been 
erected since the opening of the market, and in much closer 
proximity. A new arrangement of apartments is made in 
some of these ; the chief rooms all communicating on the 
same floor. 

The Camden-road and the Brecknock Arms are associated 
with a painful event, which, at the time, engrossed public 
attention throughout the kingdom. Thirty years have passed 
away, and a new generation may read the narrative of the 
last duel which was fought in England, and wonder that a 
practice so wicked and absurd should have been continued 
so long in a civilized country by persons of education, as a 
means of '^settling'' disputes between "men of honour'*; 
but if the sacrifice of the life of a brave officer like Colonel 
Fawcett, and the expatriation of Lieutenant Munro, whose 
sense of honour impelled him to challenge his brother by 
marriage, intense as was the suffering to all concerned, led 
to the cessation of the practice, then we may regard the " Fatal 
Duel at Camden Town '^ with increased interest. 

The following are the particulars of the sad event ; — 


one of whom, in tlie strength of manhood, had obtained 
rapid distinction ; the other, a soldier who had endured hard 
service ; in a momentary quarrel) both being quick, hot, 
decided, sought in the name of honour, and under the mockery 
of social justice, — false, merciless, and depraved as the custom 
was — that which resulted in death to one of them, who, had 
but just returned to his native land to seek restoration and 
renewal of his strength, manfully spent in his coimtry's ser- 
vice, and to the other banishment, sorrow, and remorse ! 

The cause of quarrel was a reflection by the Colonel on 
Lieutenant Munro's judgment in the management of some 
property entrusted to his care by Colonel Fawcett whilst he 
was abroad ; a contradiction was given which could not be 
endured by the one, he therefore desired the other to leave 
his house instantly, a challenge was given and accepted, 
seconds were chosen, and hence the result. 

In justice to Lieutenant Munro, it should be stated that he 
assisted and did everything in his power after the fatal shot, 
and waited by the side of the wounded man till Dr. Brodie 
arrived. During Sunday, while conscious, Colonel Fawcett 
several times expressed his wish that he had not accepted the 
challenge, and that he had died in service. 

On the Monday on which he died, the late Mr. Wakley, 
M.F., held an inquest at the Camden Arms Tavern, at which 
Mr. Cumberland was the foreman of the jury. A verdict 
was returned of murder in the first degree against the 
principals ; Mr. Gulliver, who was present at the duel, was 
admitted as a witness, in August, before Justice Williams 
and Baron Eolfe, on the trial of Lieutenant Cuddy, one of 
the seconds ; the evidence being considered insufficient, this 
gentleman was discharged. 

Lieutenant Munro left the country ; it was supposed he 
entered the Prussian service. Mrs. Fawcett was deprived of 
the pension she would otherwise have received, according to 
the rules of the service. 

The newspapers of that day were full of protests against 
the practice of duelling. One writer, as though in anticipa- 
tion of the happy result we have realised, thus wrote : '' Let 
the government make it a sign of banishment from the army 
and navy ; make it the bane of character, the curse of 
honour, the scorn and contumely of manhood, so that courage 
may no more be disgraced under its name. There is a text 
in the past week's catastrophe for the preaching of philoso- 


pby and Christianity all the nation through. We are asking 
that this last deed of blood may set the crimson fiat upon its 
doom. We conclude with most fervent aspirations that and christian feelings of cordial love for the human 
race — of cordial hate for the crime which alloys its brother- 
hood — may swell into a broad, bright, and beautiful river of 
benevolence that may roll its waters with fair, majestic 
grandeur over the dark iniquity of the duel, so that no trace 
of its barbarism be left behind to sully the character of the 
nation, outrage the home affections oi the people, and con- 
quer that noble courage of virtue which is the right arm of 
true honour, and its fair, unspotted shield." 

If ear the Camden Arms, Camden New Town (where poor 
Colonel Fawcett died) is Little Bandolph-street, in which 
are the G-reenwood Almshouses, founded, in 1840, by a niece of 
Joseph Munden (the well-remembered actor,) Mrs. Esther 
Greenwood, of Cumberland-terrace, Begent's Park. She en- 
dowed them with £1,666 13s. 4d. Old South Sea Annuities, 
for their repair and other expenses. A marble tablet has been 
placed in the entrance to St. Stephen's Church, which states 
that *^ the object of this institution is to provide an asylum, 
rent free, for aged women of indigent circumstances and 
good character — ^a preference being given to the inhabitants 
of Camden Town and Kentish Town." To the above bene- 
faction a fund for supplying the inmates with coals has been 
added, which amounted in the year 1848 to £446 18s. 5d. 
*^ The endowments and the coal funds are separately invested 
in the names of the trustees, including the minister of this 
chapel, and also of Kentish Town, for the time being." 

It was originally intended to provide an asylum for ^'twenty 
deserving poor women/' but at the present time there are 
but little more than half that number ; one room being found 
insufficient, each inmate has now two rooms. 

'^ The persons to be admitted," according to one of the 
rules, *' shall be poor and aged members of the Church of 
England, whose indigent circumstances and good character 
present a claim to the notice of the trustees — no person being 
eligible as a candidate for admission who is under 60 years 
of age, or who has not a certain income of at least five 
shillings per week, free from parochial relief." 

Another rule provides that if any of the inmates should 
come into the possession of property, or if their sources of 
income should fail, and they become dependent upon paro- 


chial relief, they shall in each case be liable to be removed j 
and also to be removed if unable to take care of themselves, 
or have friends to take charge of them, or able to provide 
the means for procuring proper attention. 

The founder is still living, and though of a great age, 
till lately occasionally visited the institution. Mr. Greenwood 
paid great attention during his lifetime to the comfort of the 
inmates, and some of them speak with much interest of 
the kindness he shewed them, only equalled by that of 
Mrs. Greenwood, the founder. The kind visits of the late 
Mr. Hannam are also gratefully remembered by some. 

The success of this institution is due mainly to the 
personal interest taken by the founder, an advantage which 
similar institutions do not always possess when the super- 
vision is left entirely to trustees. 

In College-street is the Veterinary College, which was 
founded by Mr. Sain Bell, and erected in 1792. The main 
object was to " form a school of veterinary science, in which 
the anatomical structure of quadrupeds of all kinds, the 
diseases to which they are all subject, and the remedies 
proper to be applied, might be investigated and regularly 
taught, in order that the enlightened practices of those whose 
whole study has been devoted to the veterinary science and 
all its branches may be gradually disposed all over the 
kingdom. For this purpose, pupils are taken into the college 
who, in addition to the lectures and instruction of the pro- 
fessor, and the practice of the stables under his superinten- 
dence, are admitted to medical and anatomical lectures. Of 
these pupils, many are established in various parts of the 
country, practising with great benefit." Before a certificate 
is given the pupil undergoes an examination by the medical 
committee (consisting of some of the most eminent surgeons 
in the metropolis). The present buildings were originally 
intended to be temporary, an institution of a more ambitious 
character having been contemplated ; but for utility it would 
not in all probability have exceeded its present condition. A 
museum is attached, containing numerous anatomical prepa- 
rations, for the purpose of illustrating subjects discussed by 
the lecturers. There is a theatre in which the lectures are 
delivered ; and a forge for the shoeing of horses on the most 
improved principles. An infirmary and several paddocks 
are also attached to the college. 

For some years the ground in front of the college^ as far 


as College Place, was enclosed by wooden palings, and was 
at one time used by the St. Pancras Yolunteers. A part of 
the old wall which surrounded the institution still exists at 
the back of a house in Camden-street. It is said that a sub- 
terranean way was made from the college to the theatre, 
which is now hfiown as Crowndale Hall. For some years 
previously it was used as the St. Matthew's school, and for 
many years before, it was occupied by Mr. Ansell, a nursery- 
man, whose garden extended to Camden-street. 

Bandolph, Prebend, and Priory streets, and St. Paul's- 
terrace, indicate that they are built on Church land. 
Georgiana-street is on what w;as originally called Brook 
Meadow, from the fact that here ran one of the many tribu- 
taries of the Fleet, and which, sixty years ago, was crossed 
by a wooden bridge. The names of individuals given at first 
to some of the streets or terraces have passed away with their 
owners. Cumberland Terrace, one of these, and no longer 
known, was given because the proprietor of Cumberland's 
Acting Drama invested some of his profits in the building 
speculations of forty or fifty years ago. He was foreman of 
the jury on Colonel Fawcett's death, as we have seen, but the 
present generation have no knowledge of him, nor of many 
more who then worthily played their parts. 

T 2 




In the ^* Citizen of the World '' there is an amusing account 
of a "journey made to Kentish Town." OKver Goldsmith 
intended to ridicule the superficial writers in his day who 
were minutely particular in describing their first impressions 
of other countries: so^ writing as he supposed a Chinese 
would view our institutions, public buildings, and general 
appearance of the country, he gave this account as a specimen 
of that *' way of writing." ** I send you a few hasty remarks, 
collected in a late journey I made to Kentish Town, and this 
in the manner of modern voyagers. 

"Having heard much of Kentish Town, I conceived a 
strong desire to see that celebrated place. I could have 
wished, indeed, to satisfy my curiosity without going thither, 
but that was impracticable, and therefore I resolved to go. 
Travellers have two methods of going to Kentish Town ; 
they take coach, which costs ninepence, or they may go 
a-foot, which costs nothing ; in my opinion, a coach is by far 
the most eligible convenience, but I was resolved to go on 
foot, having considered with myself, that going in that 
manner would be the cheapest way. 

" As you set out from Doghouse-bar, you enter upon a fine 
level road, railed in on both sides, commanding on the right a 
fine prospect of groves andfields, enamelled withflowers, which 
would wonderfully charm the sense of smelling, were it not 
for a dunghill on the left, which mixes its effluvia with thek 
odours. This dunghill is of much greater antiquity than the 
road ; and I must not omit a piece of injustice I was going to 
commit on this occasion. My indignation was levelled 
against the makers of the dungmll, for having brought it so 


near the road ; whereas, it should have fallen upon the makers 
of the road, for having brought that so near the dunghill. 

'^ After proceeding in this manner for some time, a build- 
ing, resembling somewhat a triumphal arcb, salutes the 
traveller's view ; this structure, however, is peculiar to this 
country, and vulgarly called a turnpike gate. I could 
perceive a long inscription, in large characters, on the front, 
probably upon the occasion of some triumph, but, being in 
haste, I left it to be made out by some subsequent adventurer 
who may happen to travel this way ; so, continuing my course 
to the west, I soon arrived at an unwalled town, called 

" Islington is a pretty neat town, mostly built of brick, 
with a church and bells ;' it has a small lake, or rather pond 
in the midst, though at present very much neglected. 1 am 
told it is dry in summer ; if this be the case, it can be no 
very proper receptacle for fish, of which the inhabitants 
themselves seem sensible, by bringing all that is eaten there 
from London. 

*' After having surveyed the curiosities of this fair and 
beautiful town, I proceeded forwards, leaving a fair stone 
building, called the White Conduit House^ on my right ; 
here the inhabitants of London often assemble to celebrate a 
feast of hot rolls and butter ; seeing such numbers, each with 
their little tables before them, employed on this occasion, 
must, no doubt, be a very amusing sight to the looker on, 
but still more so to those who perform in the solemnity. 

*' From hence I parted with reluctance to Pancras, as it is 
written, or Pancridge, as it is pronounced ; but which should 
be both pronounced and written Pangrace ; this emendation 
I will venture meo arbitra; Pan, in the Greek language, 
signifies all, which added to the English word gracBf maketh 
all grace, or Pangrace ; and, indeed, this is a very proper 
appellation to a place of so much sanctity as Pangrace is 
universally esteemed ; however this be, if you except the 
parish church and its fine bells, there is little in Pangrace 
worth the attention of the curious observer. 

**From Pangrace to Kentish Town is an easy journey of 
one mile and a quarter ; the road lies through a fine champaign 
country, well watered with beautiful drains, and enamelled 
with flowers of all kinds, which might contribute to pharm 
every sense, were it not that the odoriferous gales are often 
more impregnated with dust than perfume. 


" As you enter Kentish Town, the eye is at once presented 
with the shops of artificers, each as vendors of candles, small 
coal^ and hair brooms ; there are also several aurast buildings 
of red brick, with numberless sign posts, or rather pillars, in 
a peculiar order of architecture. 1 send you a drawing of 
several— vide ABO. This pretty town probably borrows 
its name from its vicinity to the county of K^nt ; and, indeed, 
it is not unnatural that it should, as there are oidj London 
and the adjacent villages that lie between them. Be this as 
it will, perceiving night approach, I made a hasty repast on 
roasted mutton, and a certain dried fruit called potatoes, 
resolving to protract my remarks upon my return ; and this 
I would very willingly have done, but was prevented by a 
circumstance which, in truth, I had for some time foreseen, 
for night coming on, it was impossible to take a proper 
survey of the country, as I was obliged to return home in 

Besides the humour of this description, there are references 
to the condition of the suburbs of London, a hundred years 
since, worthy of notice. The mode of travelling, the state of 
the roadS; turnpikes, the dust, and the ^' beautiful drains/' 
between St. Pancras and Kentish Town, are suggestive of 
what may be considered as things of " the past.'' 

It would appear that to Goldsmith it was a day's '' journey" 
to leave '^ the beauties of Shoe-lane," in which he resided, 
and to visit Kentish Town, as he did on foot. The few 
coaches needed, even only sixty years ago, performed the 
journey but three or four times a-day, starting from various 
inns, such as the '* Blue Post," Holborn, and mentioning the 
fact that the '* stage " would not leave till a quarter beyond 
the hour stated. 

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, attempts were 
made to improve the roads forming the leading thorough- 
fares in England ; and for that purpose turnpike acts for 
various districts were passed by jParliament. It is a very 
remarkable fact, showing the innate protectionist feeling of 
our ancestors, and which feeling has even yet not become 
extinct, that some of the counties in the neighbourhood of 
London petitioned Parliament against the extension of turn- 
pike roads into the remoter parts of the country. Those 
remoter counties, it was pretended, from the cheapness of 
labour, would be able to sell their corn at a lower rate in the 
London market than themselves, and would thereby reduce 


tbeir rents and ruin their cultivation. In spite of these 
remonstrances^ the turnpike roads were extended into the 
remoter counties, and, as might have been expected, so far from 
injuring the neighbourhood of the metropolis, they greatly 
increased its value, the interchange of commodities being, as 
it would be amongst all the nations of* the earth, mutually 

In the year 1716 the roads from London to Highgate, 
through Islington and Kentish Town, are described as being 
''very ruinous and almost impassable for the space of five 
months in the year," and an act was passed (3 Geo. 1, c. 4) 
for repairing the highways from several places in the said 
act mentioned, leading towards Highgate Gatehouse and 

A bequest had been made more than 130 years before, by 
William Heron, a citizen and woolmonger, of London^ by 
will, dated 12th July 1580, by which he gave yearly for 
ever, the rent of £8 for and towards repairing the highways, 
from time to time, in most needful places, between the 
Spittal House, at the foot of Highgate Hill, on the west side 
of the road leading from Islington, the site of which is *now 
called Lazaret or Lazarat Field, and the common highway 
leading from Highgate through Kentish Town to ^Battle 

The property conveyed to the Clothworkers' Company, and 
now chargeable with this and other bequests, consists of 
eight houses in West Smithfield, and Cow-lane, in the parish 
of St. Sepulchre, London ; it yielded about £8 every third 
year, and was added to the parish fund till the year 1834, 
though a suspension of the payment had been made for 
several years, till the Charity Commissioners summoned the 
Company to give information of the cause of non-payment, 
in 1825. The Company contended that the surplus rents and 
all other sums arising from fines on renewal of leases, &c. 
should be retained for their own use, but on trial on informa- 
tion filed in Chancery by the Attorney General (Denman), 
the Lord Chancellor (Brougham) decreed on 11th Jime 1833, 
that the whole of the rents and dividends of stock ought to 
be applied to the charitable purposes of the will, and the 
Company had to pay the costs of the litigation. The Pancras 
Highway Gift of£8 now amounts to £41 19s. 8d. 

It may prove interesting to trace the progress of the 
'' journey" which Goldsmith made through the district 


which he passed from the City to the rural village of Kentish 
Town more than a hundred years since. 

Doghouse-bar, from whence Goldsmith set out, was in Old- 
street, a district once famous for its nursery-grounds. The 
almshouses here were built when it was an open healthy 
suburb. The city hounds were once kept here, and here the 
city huntsman formerly Uved, from which circumstances 
arose the name of the turnpike gate. 

The " fine level road *' was the City-road. It was pro- 
jected by Mr. Dingley, in the year 1760, just before Gold- 
smith wrote his description of it, which accounts for the 
'* dunghill on the left being older than the road." It is 
described by Harrison, in 1776, as " an easy and pleasant 
communication from the eastern parts of the city to all the 
roads between Islington and Paddington, and from thence 
down to Oxford-road, and the great western road, by which 
the necessity of travelling three miles over the stones is 
entirely avoided. The City-road, which is about a mile in 
length, is one of the handsomest in England ; and to keep it 
in proper repair, a toll is taken for horses and carriages." 

As Goldsmith " surveyed the curiosities of the fair and 
beautiful town'' of Islington, its past history may have re- 
curred to him. As he speaks of a '^ small lake or pond in 
the midst " he may have recalled Fitz-Stephen's description 
in the twelfth century of the fields and pleasant open 
meadows through which flowed numerous brooks by the side 
of which were water-wheels for the grinding of the produce 
of the corn-fields at Bamsbury. Or he may have thought 
of the days of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when 
archery was extensively practised by the citizens at the 
butts erected there. He may have rejoiced in the greater 
security he felt than that which existed in 1674, when 
Ogleby described the road by Islington as the scene of fre- 
quent robberies and murders. But he would be more 
familiar with the descriptions given of this suburb by Addi- 
son in the days of Queen Anne, when Islington was a great 
place for country excursions. Especially would he have in 
his mind George Colman's description in a farce, written in 
1756, of a citizen's wife packing up neats' tongues and cold 
chickens, preparatory to visiting her husband's country box 
in the coach-and-three from the end of Cheapside. 

Goldsmith would especially remember his enforced resi- 
dence at Canonbury Tower. He often lodged here, writing 


some of his inimitable works under pressing necessities to 
satisfy his creditors. He would necessarily be acquainted 
with the fact that some well-known writers had also occupied 
lodgings here. There were in the tower seven stories^ in 
which were twenty -three rooms. It was nearly sixty feet in 
height and seventeen feet square. Newbury the bookseller 
lodged here, and Goldsmith occupied the same apartments. 
Ephraim Chambers, the originator of modern Cyclopoedias, 
lodged here till his death on May 18, 1740, and was buried 
in Westminster Abbey. 

Goldsmith occasionally visited Islington to enjoy what he 
called '' a shoemaker's holiday." After breakfasting with 
three or four of his familiar friends at his chambers in the 
Temple, they would walk to Highbury Bam, then a public- 
house and farm, and they would dine at the ordinary, con- 
sisting of two courses and pastry for the very moderate sum 
of tenpence a head, including the fee of one penny for the 
waiter. They would then walk to White Conduit House to 
take tea and punch. Perhaps these were amongst the mx)st 
rational and happy days which poor Goldsmith spent, for he 
obtained fresh air, exercise, and agreeable companionsbip. 

The solemnity of eating hot rolls and butter at White 
Conduit House, referred to by Goldsmith, has long since 
fallen into neglect ; and the modem house like many others 
in the suburbs retains the name without conveying any idea 
of its former character. One of the numerous conduits 
which formerly supplied Loudon with water stood in a field 
opposite the Ilound House in 1831. It was made of white 
stone, hence the name of the house. The gardens belonging 
to the house were elegantly laid out, and at the upper end of 
the middle walk was a painting of ruins which was so well 
executed that strangers who saw it from a distance supposed 
it to be a reality. The walks were extremely fine, and in 
the centre was a large basin of water round which were boxes 
for the accommodation of company. There were in the house 
two large rooms ; and in the summer, particularly on Sundays, 
great numbers of people resorted there to regale themselves 
with tea and coffeC; and to enjoy the pleasure of walking in 
the gardens. 

To the south of this house was another place of a similar 
character, Daubeney's, formerly called Dobney's, upon the 
site of Dobney's-place. In 1767 a Mr. Johnson, " of Lon- 
don/^ laid out a considerable sum to make it attractive. 


Besides planting trees of various kinds^ he ornamented certain 
parts of the grounds with paintings at full length of some of 
the most distinguished characters in Shakspere's plays. Also 
a large bowling-green^ on one side of which was a handsome 
tea-room. The number of people who frequented this and 
houses of a similar kind on Sundays was said by Harrison, in 
1777, to be '' truly astonishing ; and a stranger would rather 
suppose them to be distinguie^ed fairs than places of common 
entertainment. ' ' 

'* But of all the public places of amusement near Islington 
that which deserves the most particular notice is Sadler's 
Wells. This is a spacious building, situated near the New 
River, and was licensed by Act of Parliament in 1753. In 
this place, during the summer season, a variety of public en- 
tertainments are exhibited, to which great numbers of people 
resort ; and as the price is but small, it is no uncommon 
thing to see the girl who draws beer in a public- house seated 
as a young lady by the side of a tradesman's daughter ; and 
the girl who drives a wheelbarrow jostling the elbow of a 
kept mistress." 

Sadler's Wells was named from a mineral spring super- 
stitiously dispensed by the monks of the Priory of St. John 
of Jerusalem, from the time of Stephen. In the reign of 
Charles II. a Mr. Sadler built the ** Music House," and in 
1683 he re-discovered in the garden the well of ** excellent 
steel waters," which in the following year were drunk by 
hundreds of persons every morning. On June 11, 1686, 
Evelyn visited "the New Spa Well, near Middleton's 
receptacle of water at the New Eiver." In time, the waters 
ceased to attract ; and in 1764, eleven years after the time of 
Harrison's description, the *' Music House " was taken down, 
and the present theatre was built by Eosoman. Charles 
Dibdin and his sons were once proprietors. In 1804, " real 
water " was introduced on to the stage ; but discontinued 
from its ill effects upon the actors. Like the old Music House 
the theatre degenerated till Mr. Phelps redeemed its character 
by making it " the most popular retreat of the regular drama." 

Harrison was tempted to moralise on the evil tendency of 
tea-gardens. He says^ " we cannot help thinking that places 
of public entertainment have become too numerous in the 
present age, and that unless the legislative power shall think 
proper to lay them under greater restrictions a universal 
neglect of business and profligacy of manners will certainly 


take place among all ranks of the people. Formerly, places 
of public diversion were confined to the city, and for the 
most part to the two theatres ; nor were they resorted to by any 
but such whose circumstances would permit them to spend a 
few evenings in the season, nor by those who came from the 
country above once in the year. It is certain that every age 
has had its predominant vices ; but we cannot help thinking 
that the prudence and modesty in women, during former 
times, and the manly assurance m men, was much superior 
to the practice of the present age." 

Had Goldsmith written his description of the parish of St. 
Pancras in these days, it would have been taken as banter to 
speak of its sanctity ; but as applied to the ** church and its 
fine bells," the chief reason for its application would have 
been from its having been the last church in England where 
bells tolled for Mass ; and to Roman Catholics especially it 
would be sacred from the*circumstance that the rites of their 
Church were celebrated here before the Eeformation. 

Instead of the Yestry Hall and the immense establishment 
behind it which is kept up at the expense of the parishioners, 
it appeared to Goldsmith as a '' fine champaign country " 
through which he passed a distance of a mile and a quarter. 

The road between Old St. Pancras Church and Kentish 
Town, the King's-road, described by Oliver Goldsmith, is 
said to have derived its royal designation from being the 
approach to a king's palace. If there is foundation for the 
assertion that King John had a palace in Kentish Town, it 
would justify the supposition that the name arose from that 
circumstance. A very short time since it was a pleasant 
rural highway, with hedgerows and forest trees, and some 
few inhabitants speak with enthusiasm of the excellent con- 
tiguous farms, with fertile meadows and abimdant haycrops. 
The sweet-scented hay could be sniffed even as far off as 
Holborn. The beautiful drains Goldsmith speaks of were 
originally springs, flowing into the Eiver Fleet. In winter 
seasons the roads were often impassable through floods. 

The *' Elephant and Castle " deserves some notice, as it is 
supposed to be one of the oldest houses in St. Pancras. It is 
the first building at the south end of the King's Road, 
immediately opposite St. Pancras Workhouse. It is said to 
have derived its name from the discovery by Mr. Conyers, an 
apothecary of Fleet-street and an enthusiastic antiquary, of 
the remains of an elephant in a field which was being ex- 


cayated near the Fleet Brook^ at Battle Bridge^ about the 
year 1 714. Mr. Conyers imagined this elephant to have been 
one of those which were known to have been brought into 
Britain by the Romans and made seryiceable in their wars 
with the natiyeSi as we have done in Abyssinia. Near the 
same spot an ancient British spear was also founds — a flint 
fastened to a long shaft. The scene of the battle between 
the Eomans and the Britons under Boadicea, when the 
Britons were slaughtered and their Queen captured, was 
viyidly pictured by Mr. Conyers^ and, as many visitors were 
attracted to the scene, Boniface, it is said, appropriated the 
name to his tavern. 

Within the last twenty years, the River Fleet was open in 
what was then waste ground, adjoining this house. Fifty 
years since, it passed under a bridge in Pratt-street, and 
more recently it was seen at Kentish Town, at the corner of 
what is now Clarence-road. 

The loneliness of the road to Kentish Town when night 
set in was a frequent occasion of robbery and violence. Old 
newspapers and magazines contain many notices of such out' 
rages. In the " London Courant," 8th August 1751, it is 
recorded : '' On Sunday night, August 5, as Mr. Rainsforth 
and his daughter, of Clare-street, Clare Market, were return- 
ing home through Kentish Town, about eight o'clock, they 
were attacked by three footpads, and after being brutally 
ill-used, Mr.' R. was robbed of his watch and money.'' 

In 1756, the inhabitants of Kentish Town and other places 
between there and London entered into a voluntary subscrip- 
tion for the support of a guard or patrol to protect foot 
passengers to and from each place '' during the winter season 
(that is to say) from to-morrow, being Old Michaelmas Bay, 
to Old Lady Day next, in the following manner, viz., that a 
guard of two men, well armed, will set out to-morrow, at six 
o'clock in the evening, from Mr. Lander's, the ^ Bull,' in 
Kentish Town, and go from thence to Mr. Gould's, the 
' Coach and Horses,' facing the Foundling Hospital Gate, 
in Red Lion-street, London ; and at seven will return from 
thence back to the ^ Bull '; at eight will set out again from 
the 'Bull' to the * Coach and Horses,' and at nine will 
return from thence to the ' Bull' again, and will so continue 
to do every evening during the said winter season, from 
which places, at the above hours, all passengers will be con- 
ducted without fee or reward." 



KENTISH TOWN (coiiUnued). — pain's-placb and former inhabi- 

ROW ; Jeffrey's ' terrace ; the old farm house ; queen 


" As you enter Kentish Town, the eye is at once presented 
with " a somewhat different view to that which Goldsmith 
described. The "august buildings of red brick" known 
as Pain's-place remain, and the date on the corner house 
(1720) tells that they had been erected forty years when he 
saw them. But even sixty years ago, old inhabitants say? 
there was an uninterrupted prospect, from the front of Pain's- 
place, of St. Paul's Oatnedral, rising above the amphitheatre 
of buildings near the Eiver Thames. 

Fain's-place consists of three houses ; the centre one, 
between forty and fifty years ago, was occupied by a Mr. 
Watson, then an eminent telescope maker. From a room in 
his house could be seen the crow's nest in which Mr. Horner 
pursued his arduous task of sketching London before the fires 
were lighted in the morning. " I have seen, from Mr. Wat- 
son's window, by means of his powerful telescope, all the 
movements of the artist while he was sketching from above 
the ball of St. Paul's Cathedral. I could have distinguished 
even his eyes, " is the statement of an old inhabitant whoso 
memory retains a record of events which took place more than 
sixty years ago, 

Mr. Watson supplied the Celestial Empire with his instru- 
ments ; he was reckoned one of the most eminent telescope 
and mathematical instrument makers of his dajr. 


In 1805, Edward Burcli, r.a. lived in this place. That 
worthy man, we are informed, was originally intended for a 
bargeman, but being much more inclined to carve his barge 
than to steer it, a gentleman who happened to observe some 
of the figures that he had cut, was so much struck with their 
spirit that he became the boy's protector and friend. His 
rapid improvement did honour to his patron. Mr. Burch, 
in a few years, attained the first rank in his profession, and 
was considered the best engraver of gems in this country. 

The house which till lately had the inscription "Norfolk 
Laundry, established in 1835" was originally Madame de 
Neave's boarding school. It has still the old-fashioned high 
iron railings and gate in front, which like the house, are fall- 
ing into decay. 

It is singular that two educational establishments in this 
neighbourhood should have become laundries, but such is the 
fact. The building for many years known as the Sussex 
Laundry was once the National School, having been built 
for that purpose by Mr. Cartwright Slack. It has been 
recently taken down, and a New School is being erected for 
the School Board of London. 

At the back of this School is a building now known as 
Wills's Rotunda Organ Factory. It is worthy of notice as 
having been erected in 1824, by Mr. Lever, for the painting 
by Paris, of Homer's sketches of London, taken as before 
mentioned as he sat in a suspended house or box fixed for the 
purpose on the highest attainable point on the exterior of St. 
Paul's Cathedral. While the upper part of the Cathedral 
was under repair, Mr. Horner conceived the bold and novel 
idea. Like most originators, he was entirely ruined by his 
speculation — in his case in consequence of the length of time 
required to complete the painting, as also in the erection of 
the Colosseum in the Regent's Park. 

The Rotunda in which this picture of London was painted, 
was afterwards used for the painting of some of Burford's 
panoramas. It now ministers to the sister art, music ; the 
building of organs and pianofortes being now carried on 

The "Black Horse " was a hostelry standing alone, afford- 
ing accommodation for ^^ man and beast.^' The old horse 
trough remained till within a few years since. This house 
was kept at one time by a Mrs. (or " Mother ") Faulkner, 
who was a singular character in her way. She drank her 


gin-and- water after her dinner every day, and smoked a pipe 
of tobacco in her back parlour, in which a pig might frequently 
be seen as her companion. 

Passing the few shops of ^* venders of candles, small coal, 
and hair brooms/* which seem still to be required, leaving also 
" Monte Video Place," some of the red brick buildings which 
Goldsmith saw ; as well as glancing at, and wondering why 
the low wooden erections which meet at an angle in the 
road from Camden Town, called Cain -place, are allowed still to 
remain ; structures which might formerly have been suitable 
enough, and even may have been picturesque, but which are 
not now in accordance with modern wants and improvements 
— Kentish Town is now fairly entered. 

The name of the town is derived from the fact, as'^most 
generally believed, of its foundation by Walter and Thomas 
de Cantalupe. In a notice of the " hamlet'* in the *' History 
of Middlesex," by Moll, published in 1724, he states : " You 
may from Hampstead, see in the vale between it and London, a 
vilhige, vulgarly called Kentish TowOi which we mention 
chiefly by reason of the corruption of the name, the true 
one being Ctotilupe Town, of which that great family were 
anciently the owners. One or both of them built a chapel 
here. They were men of great account in the reigns of King 
John, Henry III., and Edward I., Walter de Cantilupe was 
Bishop of Worcester from 1236 to 1266 ; Saint Thomas de 
Cantilupe was Bishop of Hereford from 1275 to 1282. 
Thomas was canonized for a saint in the thirty-fourth year 
of Edward's reign (1306). The inheritance at length 
devoting upon the sisters, the very name became extinct. 
Kentish Town is now a prebend of St. Paul's/' 

Though oral tradition is an uncertain and not always relia- 
ble source of the truth respecting topographical data, yet its 
germs may be met with. An intelligent lady inhabitant (a 
septuagenarian) of Kentish Town says : ^' You must remem- 
ber that Kentish Town was originally a forest — a part of the 
Great Forest of Middlesex. The name of this town is generally 
believed to have been derived from Caen or Ken Wood, from 
Bishop Ken^ whom you will remember was a remarkably 
conscientious man in a licentious age. Even Charles the 
Second appreciated his worth, made him his chaplain, and 
afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells. He opposed the 
Popish intentions of James the Second, and he was one of the 
seven Bishops sent to the Tower for resisting that Monarch's 


unconstitutional dispensing power. He died in 1711, Itkink^ 
and he was at one time the owner of the park, called then 
Bishop's Park, through which a road was cut at Highgate. 
My father and grandfather before him were residents 
in this town. I have heard them speak of a woman who 
used to come through the wood to Kentish Town to 
their house to perform some domestic duties. There was then 
a wooden bridge over the Fleet Ditch by Millfield-lane. 
I remember my grandfather pointing out to me where it 
was, and where the mill stood, which no doubt gave the 
name to the lane. The ditch at that part was in the Forest or 
wood and was called Ken's Ditch — hence the village or town 
Ken Ditch —and eventually corrupted to Kentish Town. 

" In my own remembrance, Kentish Town was the resi- 
dence of some good families who kept their carriages and 
suite of servants. But then the poor were very poor, and 
dependent upon the assistance of the rich for employment 
and sometimes charity.'' 

The Old Castle Inn, said to have been a portion of a palace 
erected by King John (though no evidence exists to warrant 
such a supposition), was entirely cleared away in the early 
part of 1849. The front of the old building was of a pro- 
jecting character, one storey high, supported by a narrow 
pier at the side, and a bolder one somewhat out of the centre 
near to which was the entrance to the bar. The inteirior of 
one of the rooms contained a fire-place of stone in the Tudor 
style ; the -spandrils were enriched with a rose from which 
proceeded or extended a large leaf-shaped ornament termin- 
ating in a snake's tail. This fire-place was till a short time 
before its removal hidden from view by plaster, and was the 
only one in the house. 

The Inn stood some distance back from the road, a horse- 
trough being in front. At the north, side were out-houses, 
and between them and the house was the entrance to the 
gardens. At each corner of the well-kept lawn were holly 
trees, and around it were arbours covered with ivy, and boxes 
for the convenience of tea parties in the summer time. At 
the end of the garden ran the Fleet Ditch, a black stream 
which formerly no one seemed to consider objectionable, and 
this was crossed by means of a drawbridge, which was let 
down when parties were admitted into the adjoining fields, 
through which a pathway led to the Hampstead Road. The 
family parties to be seen at the Castle fifty years since were 


quiet and respectable. The wife took her tea, while the hus- 
band indulged in his clean straw pipe and ale. The children 
were regaled with biscuits, or shrimps, and occasional sips of 
tea or ale ; while the children's chaise (perambulators being 
then unknown) reposed on the gravel walk beside the arbour. 

Within the last five and twenty years the Fleet Ditch was 
open to view, with rank weeds on its banks, until it reached 
the fields bounded by the garden of the last house (for some 
years a small greengrocer's shop) now the site of a public- 
house ; it then pursued an underground course until it 
reached the Pancras Eoad. 

A modem gin-shop tavern and a few shops now occupy 
the frontage where the Old Castle stood, while Castle-place 
and Castle-terrace, built in 1851 ^ are on the site of the tea- 

The first house (now a fishmonger's shop) next the Castle 
originally had its frontage looking up the road, with a view 
from the back windows of London. To that house there was 
originally a large garden, and in the frpnt (now occupied by 
three shops) was a row of trees, under which was the horse- 
trough before referred to. A small painting of the Castle as 
it originally appeared may be seen in the first shop. 

About where is now the post-office, at the corner of the 
Castle Bead, was the residence of Lady Hamilton. The 
garden attached was noted for its order and beauty some 
sixty years since. 

Kearly opposite still stands Chestnut Bow. The old- 
fashioned houses with red-tiled shelving roofs remain, and 
have a picturesque appearance from the Castle Boad ; but 
the old chestnut trees (said to have been planted by Lady 
Hamilton) were removed a few years since, the increased 
traffic of the town being impeded by their large trunks in the 
middle of the pavement. 

Going southwards, those interested in the past will call to 
mind the pleasant view of ivy-covered dwellings, with several 
steps to the doorways, till the fields between Kentish and 
Camden Towns were reached. 

Jeffreys Terrace (named from the landowner previous to 
the Lord Camden) remains as a specimen of the liberal allot- 
ment of garden-ground at the beginning of the century; 
and for many years the inhabitants enjoyed a prospect of 
fields and orchards. 

Ifr. William Hewitt writes in his " Northern Heights of 



London/' that ** about fifty years ago the people of Edghgate 
made their visits to town in a stage coach, which performed 
the journey in between two and three hours ; fare, half-a- 
crown ; such was the arduous undertaking that the passen- 
gers regularly stopped to take tea on their return at the 
Assembly House, Kentish Town. A very little beyond this 
Assembly House, now a tavern, is the Old Farm House. 
You will readily find it by that name, but don*t look for 
poultry and geese in its yard, cattle in its fields, or milk and 
butter in its dairy. The only cattle are the human kind 
densely crowded all round it in their close-packed houses ; 
the only geese those who haunt its spirit tap — for it is a gin- 
shop public-house. But the other day all in front of this 
strange Old Farm House, as far as Camden Town, were green 
fields. They are now houses and shops/' 

True there is a ** gin-shop public house" at the comer of 
Mansfield Place, and it is called the Old Farm House, and 
has a painted sign representing the old farm ; but that house 
was formerly — not many years since — a grocer's shop. So 
few years have passed since the remains of the Old Farm 
House were removed that there is no difficulty in giving a 
correct account of its whereabouts. Within five and twenty 
years all that remained of it consisted of its bams and out- 
houses, haystacks, &c. The house was nearly opposite the 
King's Arms, where the turnpike formerly stood. An old 
inhabitant of the town remembers the Farm House when the 
entrance to it from the road was by a row of trees, and a 
stream, probably a tributary of the Fleet, having been 
formerly in front of the house ; a drawbridge was there also. 
The Farm was for many years — more than a century — in the 
occupation of the Morgan family, a member of which 
possesses paintings of the front and back view, taken when 
the building retained its original appearance. 

In Palmer*s History of St. Pancras it is stated that *' Queen 
Elizabeth had a palace in Kentish Town. It was her hunt- 
ing palace, where she repaired to enjoy her sports of hawking 
and other amusements ; it afterwards became a country resi- 
dence of the noted Nell Gwynne, and occupied the site of 
what is known as the old Farm Tavern." 

It is probable that Queen Elizabeth may have occasionally 
resided in a palace here, as the manor and palace of Totten- 
hall adjoining were demised to her in 1690. In the old 
leases or conveyances of land in this manor, the following 


words of exception are used, which seem to indicate the ex* 
istence formerly of such sports as are therein mentioned : 
''except and thereby reserved all such rights and privileges 
of fowling, hunting, and hawking, and of chasing and killing 
game and beasts of chase, and all such ancient piscatories 
and fishings, as have been anciently used and occupied by the 
lord or lords of the said manors for the time being." The 
description of the land leased or conveyed includes *' ways, 
waters, watercourses, woods, underwoods, timber and other 
trees, hedges and ditches." 

The existence still of the "Jolly Anglers " and Anglers'- 
lane is suggestive of the resort at one time of the disciples of 
Izaac Walton, but there are no records of the fact. 

A legend exists amongst the old inhabitants, that more 
than a hundred years ago, the then proprietor of the Old 
Farm House engaged a reaper at harvest time, who soon 
afterwards conceived the diabolical idea of murdering and 
robbing his new master. He succeeded in his object, but 
retribution speedily overtook him. He was tried, found 
guilty, and sentenced to be hanged near the spot where his 
crime was committed. The Old Farm House was therefore 
associated for some time with the crime and the execution of 
the criminal. For many years of late the premises had a 
deserted appearance. Albert Smith makes it the hiding- 
place of coiners who figure in his novel " The Adventures of 
Mr. Ledbury.'' No trace now remains of this once rural 
and pleasant part of Kentish Town. As Mr. Howitt says, 
long lines of streets, houses and shops are alone to be seen. 

It is stated that in the reign of Henry IV., one Henry 
Sruges, Garter King at Arms, had a magnificent mansion in 
the manor of Cantelowes, where on one occasion he enter- 
tained the German Emperor, Sigismund, during his visit to 
this country. His mansion stood near the old Episcopal 
Chapel, which is said to have been erected by Walter and 
Thomas de Cantaloupe during the reign of King John. Not, as 
stated by one historian, ''where Wolsey Terrace now stands" 
(near the site of the Old Farm House), but between Anglers'- 
lane and what was once called Vicarage-place, on the oppo- 
site side of the road. 

The estate belonging to the Holmes family, consists of a 
frontage from what was till lately called Holmes Terrace, 
and extends westward in an irregular form to the end of 
Mansfield-place. Some fifty years ago, the then owner of 

TJ 2 


the estate was a magistrate. The house now occupied by 
Mr. SaltePi auctioneer, &c,, or one on its site, was that in 
which he lived, and at the back was an extensive garden and 
orchard. The apples growing there had attracted the atten- 
tion of some boys ** from town/' who were one d^, imluckily 
for them, caught in the act of stealing them. The rightful 
owner, incensed at their audacity, sentenced the boys to be 
flogged at a cart's tail througn the town. This summary- 
judicial act was performed by Joey Groxall, and as the lash 
fell on their bare backs, the mob, principally composed of 
boys, followed shouting their execrations upon the execu- 
tioner of the sentence, who was ever after called "Jack 
Ketch.'' Instances are occasionally occurring now of country 
magistrates acting with a like spirit, but no justice of the 
peace would dare in the present day to be judge and jury in 
his own case in the suburbs of London. 

Near the end of Mansfield-place there is a narrow turning, 
called Grapes-place, on this estate. Few persons would care 
to venture alone down it, as it appears to be a private way. 
The houses there are remarkably small, with shelving tiled 
roofs, looking rather dilapidated, but presenting the aspect of 
the secluded part of a country village inhabited by labourers. 
The square piece of waste ground there was formerly 
occupied by tan pits belonging to a member of the Holmes 
family. Nothing seems to be at present done to repair the 
ruins of time on this property. As one of the inhabitants 
said, '*we can get nothing done for our benefit." Garden 
ground is plentiful here at present ; but when the genius of 
modern improvement visits this primitive spot, the specula- 
tive builder who follows in her wake will, probably, convert 
the present seeming waste into close streets and courts, there- 
by pressing the increasing mass of humanity closer together, 
to the detriment of health, the privation of all the natural 
enjoyments, and without regard to the common decencies or 
conveniences of life. 

Kentish Town is honoured from having been the residence 
of Lord Nelson. His mother died in 1767, when he was but 
nine years old, which, on account of the small income of his 
father from the rectory of Barnham Thorpe, Norfolk, 
rendered it necessary to seek an early provision for him and 
seven other children. Young Nelson was of a slender frame, 
and had a delicate constitution, but he was not thereby 
deterred from leaving home. He willingly accepted the in- 


vitation to go to sea, which was through the position of his 
uncle, Captain Suckling, of the Raisonnable, hiy in which at 
twelve years of age he entered as a midshipman. Previous 
to entering on the career which proved so distinguished for 
himself, and so advantageous to the nation, young Nelson 
lived for a time, about the year 1770, at his uncle's house in 
Kentish Town. Captain Suckling's house was not next to the 
Old Castle, as stated by Mr. Timbs, but the third from G-ordon 
House Lane, next to the mansion of Mr. Copestake. In the 
garden of that house, young Nelson planted not a sycamore 
but a chestnut tree, which is believed to be still standing. 
There are living in Kentish Town many descendants of old 
families who deUght to converse upon these and other associa- 
tions of the past. 

While year after year that tree was increasing in size and 
beauty, and was helping to gladden the hearts of the peace* 
ful inhabitants of the town as each succeeding spring returned, 
he who had planted it was making England famous on the 
seas by his extraordinary victories and services. He had 
been in four actions with hostile fleets, in three with boats 
employed in cutting out, and at the taking of three towns ; 
had assisted in capturing seven sail of the line, six frigates, 
four corvettes, and eleven privateers ; taken fifty merchant 
vessels, and been in action 120 times ; lost his right eye and 
arm, and received other severe wounds — till the end came, 
when he could truly say, '' Now I am satisfied. Thank God, 
I have done my duty." 

Dr. Southey says, *^ The death of Nelson was felt in Eng- 
land as a public calamity ; yet he cannot be said to have 
fallen prematurely whose work was done, nor ought he to be 
lamented who died so full of honours and at the height of 
human fame.'' 

In 1805, a row of houses was built in Kentish Town, and 
(in memory of England's greatest naval hero, and of the 
Victory which cost him his life) " Trafalgar Place, 1806,'^ 
was engraved on a stone in front of the centre house. The 
inscription still remains, but is partially obscured by shops 
erected on the front gardens of the Place ; thus, here, as else* 
where, the interest attaching to the association of street 
nomenclature will soon be sacrificed to dull uniformity. 

There is a legend of Lord Nelson, when a boy, Deing at 
the Hermitage at Highgate Else, and climbing a very tall 
ash tree by the road-side, which therefore also went by the 


name of "Nelson's Tree." But, says WiUiom Howitt, "it 
has long since gone the way of all trees^ to the timber yard/' 

Many distinguished men have resided in Kentish Town^ 
Old inhabitants remember frequently seeing at one time 
Lord Erskine walk down Mansfield-place to a humble dwell- 
ing in Spring Row. 

In Craven-place lived for a short time the satirical writer, 
and yet kind-hearted man, Douglas Jerrold. In Mortimer- 
terrace, then having a pleasant prospect of Hampstead over 
the Gospel Oak meadows, lived at one time the charming 
essayist and poet Leigh Hunt. Howitt says, " at one time 
Leigh Hunt had lodgings in Kentish Town, and then 
probably it was that they (Keats and other congenial friends) 
used to take their strolls up Millfield-lane and encountered 

In the first house past the Bull and Last lived the cele- 
brated actor Joseph Munden. In later times, at No. 14, 
York-place, the "Rev. T. T. Lynch lived, while the hard 
doctrinal editor of the Morning Advertiser was dealing un- 
mercifully with the " Rivulet '* Hymn Book ; but the author 
lived down all the harsh misunderstandings of men who 
could see truth from but one stand-point, and misjudged 
a really spiritual fine-hearted man such as he was. The names 
of these Places and many others have now been transformed 
into the uniform and perhaps more easily known Kentish 
Town Road, but their associations are being entirely lost. 

The most noted public building at one time in Kentish 
Town was the Assembly House, so named from its being the 
resort of the gentry of the village. It was a large, partly 
wooden, house, with along room on the south side, entered byan 
outside covered staircase. It commanded a view down the road 
towards "town,'* and on a gala night, when lighted up, it was a 
striking and brilliant sight. In the year 1783 the house was 
taken by Thomas Wood, who advertised his liquors, stating 
that he was ** determined to sell on the most valuable terms. 
Also then he could boast of " a good trap-ball ground, skittle 
ground, pleasant summer-house, extensive garden, and every 
other accommodation for the convenience of those who 
thought proper to make an excursion to that house during 
the summer months.*' 

In 1725, Mr. Robert Wright caused to be put, under a 
remarkable fine elm tree, in front of the house, a marble 
table withan oval-shaped top, and a Latin inscription 

St. PANCRiS— PAST ANt) ]^REgENT. 295 

round the edge of it^ recording that when an inyalid he had 
walked from his house to that spot every morning to take his 
breakfast, and had thereby recovered his health. This me- 
morial of his gratitude served for many years as a conve- 
nience for the pots and glasses of weary pedestrians on their 
way to Highgate, who sat under the tree ; and it now serves 
the same purpose in front of the bar of the modem gin 
palace which has been erected on the site. The old elm 
tree was struck by lightning on Tuesday, 5th June 1849, 
several large limbs were struck to the ground, nearly falling 
upon a man who was passing. On the occasion of that terrific 
storm in the metropolis and its suburbs, showers of hail and 
rain of a violent character, and *' hailstones as large as wal- 
nuts '' fell. Baron Rothschild had 3,940 squares of glass 
broken in his conservatories. Three years afterwards the Old 
Assembly House was taken down, buildings were erected 
around it, and the modem house was placed in the frontage. 
Kentish Town Chapel is mentioned, in the year 1549, in 
** An inventory of aU the ornaments, jewelk, and bells 
belonging to the parish church of St. Pancras-in-the-Fields, 
in Kentish Town, in the county of Middlesex, made 12th 
March, 3 Edw. 6.*' The chapel was rebuilt in the year 
1633, and the expense of rebuilding was defrayed out of the 
money paid by way of premium on the granting of leases of the 
church lands. The chapel was situated near Anglers' -lane, 
and where Old Chapel Row was afterwards built. The site 
was originally the property of Sir William Hewitt, who was 
a landowner in the parish in the reign of Charles I. He 
died in 1637. Both he and his successors were paid a noble 
(six shilling^ and eightpence) per annum as a rent for the 
ground. The chapel was but fifty-three feet in length and 
twenty*six feet in breadth, and was therefore far too small for 
the accommodation of the inhabitants of the village 146 
years after its rebuilding ; it was also in a ruinous condition ; 
the trustees therefore resolved that, as the old chapel was 
incapable of repair or enlargement, to procure another site. 
Half an acre of land was purchased on the west side of the 
road in Kentish Town, opposite the three-mile stone, for the 
sum of £68. The architect selected was James Wyatt. It 
was conmienced in May 1782, and was finished and con- 
secrated, on 21st July 1784, by the Bishop of Bristol. The 
materials of the old chapel, and a lease of the site for the 
term of 99 years, at a ground rent of five shillings per annum, 


was in that year sold by aaction to Mr. William Morgan, 
of Kentish Town, the purchase money being £150. A legal 
contest now arose as to the right of the trustees to levy a 
church rate, or to apply the rents and profits of the church 
lands to reimburse themselves £600 which they had advanced 
for the payment of tradesihen's bills and other sums due, 
amounting to £1, 100. The Chief Baron of the Court of Exche- 
quer decided that the trustees had acted illegally ; but that 
tne parishioners would act most dishonourably if they did not 
reimburse them every farthing they had expended ; for they 
had acted for them and with their conctirrence, " very much 
to their own trouble, and to their own risk." It was found 
that the rents and profits of the church lands were applica- 
ble only to the repair and sustentation of the fabric of the 
Church and Chapel or to the rebuilding of the same, and 
that the supplying of ornaments or fittings was a misappro- 
priation of the fund. 

At a vestry meeting held on 2nd April 1793, it was re- 
solved that the trustees should reimburse themselves all their 
liabilities out of the money arising from interments in the 
vaults under Kentish Town Chapel : and thus terminated 
a contest which had lasted nine years. 

The new Chapel (St. John the Baptist) then built by 
Wyatt has been enlarged and altered to the Early Decorated 
style, by the architect Bartholomew. It has two lofty 
steeples, and a large painted altar window, and four smaller 
windows, inscribed with the Decalogue, creed, &c., within 
ornamental borders of com and vines ; there are some good 
sculptures in the altar recess. A celebrated engraver in his 
day, Charles Grignion, was buried in the vaults under the 
church on November 1st, 1810, in his 94th year. His last 
days were spent in Kentish Town, where he was supported 
by the aid of friends in his profession and others who thus 
smoothed the passage of his declining years. There is a 
monument to the memory of Mr. Philip Hurd, late of Kentish 
Town House, and for many years an eminent solicitor and 
member of the Inner Temple. 

The villa in which he lived many years was considered " a 
miniature Wanstead House." He collected here a costly 
library, including the celebrated " Breviarium Romanum, 
purchased by him, in 1827, from Mr. Dent's library, for 
£378 : it consists of more than 500 leaves of vellum, illumin-> 
ated by Flemish painters in Spain, of the 15th century, with 


nLiniatures and borders of flowers, fruitSi and grotesque 
figures, upon a gold ground. Mr. Hurd died in June 1831, 
and the yilla was taken down in 1851. It stood in its own 
grounds, and tlie lodge entrance was on the site of the 
present " Duke of St. Alban's " Tavern. 

There are monumental inscriptions in this church in 
memory of former inhabitants of the town. Lady Hamilton, 
wife of Sir Alexander Hamilton, who died 18th October 
1806. Thomas Greenwood, Esq., one of the trustees of the 
chapel, and several other members of his family. The alms- 
houses in Camden Town are the gift of Mrs. Esther Q-reen- 
wood (daughter of Munden), of Cumberland Terrace, Regent's 
Park, of the same family. William Franks, Esq. died May, 

" Who found all comfort centred in his home, 
There moat in life his sodal yirtues shone," 
And yet ** not actiye for himself alone, 
He made the wants of every friend his own.'' 

His son was also interred in a vault under this church in 
July 1797. 

The most noteworthy memorial is a tablet recording that 
the Rev. Johnson Grant, a.m., was " upwards of thirty-five 
years the minister of this chapel, and departed this life on 
the 4th December 1844, aged 71 years. He was a powerful 
preacher, an able and voluminous author, very charitable^ 
and greatly respected by all classes. In his latter years he 
was deeply afflicted, as the tablets near this testify ; yet he 
forgot not his Maker in the day of his adversity/' These 
tablets record that his third daughter, Emilie Eldon Helen^ 
died in July 1834, aged five years. The father then wrote — 

** Though grief awhile may mourn aJoad, 
Thou yet shalt live and love again ; 
For Faith — not fancy — hears a voice 
Gome softly o'er the heart that weepeth j 
E'n from the tomb it cries ' Bejoice, 
The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.* " 

Maria, sister of the above, died in June in the following 
year, aged 11 J years. Her father could say of her — 


Thou wert a type, an evidence of Heaven; 

Thy smile was Heaven. Thine early works of love. 

Thy self-devotion, nightly, daily given. 

Seemed lessons gathered from the Courts above." 



On March 9th, 1838, Margaret, mother of the above, 
''departed to Heaven/' She had been ''during nineteen 
years the faithful wife, friend, companion, counsellor, and 
consoler of the Bev. J. Grant, and all that a mother could be 
to their children/' On August 4th of the following year, 
Margaret, the eldest daughter, followed her mother and 
sisters, aged Vl\ years. 

On 13th January 1844, James Arminius, a midshipman, 
aged 16 years, the youngest son, was accidentally drowned 
in the River Hoogly. In December of the same year the 
afflicted father followed him. Mirian, his youngest daughter, 
died suddenly at Brighton, aged 14, on 29th May of the fol- 
lowing year, and Gregory, his second son, after a very short 
illness, died on October 4th, the next year, within a few days 
of attaining his 21st year. 

These repeated losses told upon the vigorous intellect of 
the " powerful preacher '' as he was once esteemed, and his 
last effort to preach, towards the close of his life, was attended 
with illness, which compelled his being assisted out of the 

La the year 1845, a few months after the death of Mr. 
Grant, the chapel was enlarged, giving extra accommodation 
for 600 persons. He was, as the tablet to his memory states, 
'' the first to subscribe to a fund for the enlargement of this 
chapel ; before its completion he died, in fervent hope of a 
joyful resurrection.'* 

Mr. Grant was a decided opponent of Eomanism, it was 
therefore no small affliction to him that his eldest son, who 
was educated at Oxford, should become a pervert to that 
faith. He rose to distinction, became Bishop of Southwark, 
and died a few years since. 




In Trafalgar-place was erected one of the five cliapels 
belonging to the Independent denomination which were 
promoted mainly by Mr. T. Wilson, of Highbury. A site 
was first obtain^ near Bartholomew-place, but the Trustees 
of the Bartholomew Hospital estate afterwards objected^ and 
the partially erected building was taken down, and another 
site obtained of Lord Dartford. The chapel was opened 
about the year 1810. Mr. Haslock was minister for many 
years, till declining health necessitated his retirement ; but 
the congregation did not then forget him, for they still 
*' ministered to his necessities." Mr. Qarvey succeeded him, 
and for several years was an energetic and able minister. 
When he resigned, several ministers preached there, till the 
Hey. William Eorster left the chapel in Highgate to become 
the pastor, and the congregation increased so as to lead to 
the building of the Congregational Church on the opposite 
side of the road, the frontage of the church being in what 
was at first called Church-terrace (now Kelly-street). This 
building was designed by Hodge and Butler, and was opened 
in 1848. It is in the ecclesiastical style of the 15th century, 
and has several richly traceried windows with stained glass, 
and a splendid wheel-window, 15 feet in diameter. Mr. 
Thomas Spalding was a large contributor to the funds for the 
erection of the church, and laid the foundation stone. 

When Mr. Forster avowed his change of theological views, 
he resigned the pastorate here, and eventually founded the 
Free Christian Church in the Clarence Bead. The Bevi 


James Fleming was then appointed the minister of this 
church, and has preached to a full congregation with great 
success till the present time. 

The old Independent Chapel in Trafalgar-place became 
and still is the Kentish Town British School, and has been 
well employed on Sundays as schools, and for evening services 
for young people and members of the working classes not 
attending any places of worship. Much good was effected 
by Mr. Arthur Hall here previously to his entering the 
ministry, and other zealous young men have carried on. 
the work. 

A literary institution was also formed here more than 
twenty years since, of which Mr. Forster was the President. 
Discussions were held, and some members who here first tried 
their powers in debate have become useful men in various 
public spheres, not excepting the parochial parliament. 

In this building, also, the first temperance society in 
Kentish Town held its meetings. Mr. James Silk Buckingham 
and John Gassell being among the chief promoters. 

The erection of the " Free Christian Church '' in the 
Clarence Road was entirely the result of Mr. Forster's efforts. 
He obtained the funds principally by means of collections 
after sermons which he preached in all parts of the country. 
Possessing much ability as a preacher, he succeeded in 
attracting around him many converts to his new views, and 
others who already sympathised with them. This secession 
naturally alienated from Mr. Forster many who had been his 
warmest friends ; and for a time occasioned some excitement 
in the community interested. After several years of incessant 
and arduous effort, his powers declined, he was induced to 
resign his charge ; Mr. P. W. Clayden succeeded him, 
and is still the respected pastor of the church. The service 
is conducted in an orderly and impressive manner, and the 
choral part of it is worthy of the imitation of many of those 
churches believed to be of a more orthodox faith. Mr. 
Forster died in 1871, leaving behind him many friends who 
esteemed him for his kindness of heart, while many more 
deeply regretted his loss to the community in which he had 
nunistered with great abiUty, and considerable success. It 
is to be regretted that the record of his work was not suffered 
to remain on the foundation stone of the church from which 
he seceded, truth and justice being superior to all personal 
considerations. His sermon preached on the occasion of the 


death of the Duke of Wellington remains as an evidence of 
his great ability as a preacher. 

At the back of the Free Christian Church is St. Paul's 
Chapel, Hawley Road. The original " proprietor '* of this 
building was the Rev. Samuel Smith, who died 4th April 
1850, as recorded in Highgate Cemetery, on a stone against 
the wall near the upper entrance gate. Mr. Smith failed in 
his attempt to combine the Episcopal form of worship with 
the principles of Congregational Independency. For many 
years the two pulpits, or reading desks, remained after the 
chapel had passed into other hands. A Dr. Cope succeeded 
Mr. Smith for a short time, when in March 1852 the Rev. 
Edward White, of Hereford, commenced his ministry here. 
A few years since galleries were added and considerable 
alterations and improvements were made in the chapel. A 
lease of sixty years was secured^ and the interest invested in 
the minister and deacons as trustees. The interior of the 
building is cheerful and suggestive of thoughtful devotion, 
by means of appropriate texts from Scripture, around the 
gallery, and on the wall at the back of the pulpit is written : 
** God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish but 
have everlasting life.'' A Lecture Hall and Schoolroom was 
added in 1868. At the opening meeting, the Rev. Samuel 
Martin presided, and said, a more tempting schoolroom he 
had never entered. The Rev. J. C. Harrison congratulated 
Mr. White and his friends upon their new facilities for 
usefulness ; and the Rev. Dr. Stoughton said that '' without 
the slightest affectation, he could say, he thanked God for 
having raised up Edward White, and for the many healthful 
thoughts which his writings had raised in social circles^ far 
beyond their own." There was a time, however, when the 
Rev. Edward White was unrecognised, and, because mis- 
understood, even misjudged — ^the fate of many thoroughly 
outspoken honest souls, but he could sa^ ultimately " that 
though there had not always been imiformity of thought 
and expression on minor questions, he had received many acts 
of generosity from his brethren, and they were thoroughly 
united dii the great principles of faith and love.'' 

Mr. White is one of the most instructive preachers of the 
day. His commentaries on the Scripture lessons are in- 
teresting and invaluable, and generally have a bearing on 
the discourse which follows. The sermon is short and pointed. 


He speaks as one desiring to reach, the intellect and the 
hearts of his hearers, — ^in plain, strong, earnest, and withal, 
kindly words — perhaps too outspoken for some persons. He 
has an intelligent and sympathising congregation, ready to 
assist in every good work within and outside of their own 

On the completion of twenty-three years' earnest labour at 
Hawley Road Chapel, Mr. White took a review of his past 
teaching. The main doctrine which he holds is against the 
one more generally received of the natural immortaUty of the 
souls of all men. His view of the truth is becoming more 
universally held. The Bev. Samuel Minton, of Eaton Square 
Episcopal Church, preached on Sunday evening, 22nd Sept. 
1872, at Hawley Iload Chapel. At the conclusion of his 
sermon, he expressed the pleasure he felt in accepting Mr. 
White's invitation to occupy his pulpit as the beginning of 
what he hoped would prove a mighty movement for hearty 
unreserved Christian fellowship between the Established and | 

non-Established Churches of the land. He then said : '^ It is I 

an additional pleasure to me to be here to-night, because of the 
debt of gratitude I owe to your pastor, for instrumentally 
enabling me to see the great Scriptural truth of immortality 
in Christ alone, with the ultimate deliverance of the whole 
universe from evil of every kind — the reconciliation of all 
things by Christ, so that God may be all in all. The seed of 
that truth was sown in my mind by the book which he pub- 
lished in 1846, entitled ' Life in Christ.' In a strange and 
mysterious way it lay dormant there for twenty-two years, 
imtil God's time came for the breath of His Spirit to make it 
spring up and burst forth into life. And it proved to be a 
time of deliverance, not only to my own soul, but also to a 
daily increasing multitude of others. 1 found to my surprise 
that at least half-a-dozen spiritually-minded members of my 
congregation had known it for years, one of them having 
discovered it as a child, unaided, from the Bible alone. Since 
that time it has spread with amazing rapidity in almost every 
branch of the Christian Church. And no wonder ; for, like 
Columbus's eggy it is so perfectly obvious when it has once 
been shown us, that we only marvel how we could have read 
our Bibles without seeing it for ourselves. And then the 
blessedness, first, of having that dark cloud rolled away 
from the Divine character ; and, secondly, instead of merely 
thinking of our own personaljhappiness hereafter, to be able 


to rejoice in the glorious prospect of seeing evil banished 
from creation, and forming part of a ransomed universe ! I 
thank God that He has spared your pastor's life to see even 
already such abundant fruit of his self-sacrificing labour to 
make known this long-forgotten truth. I earnestly pray that 
he may have still further encouragement to cheer his later 
years, and that, whether as minister of this Church, or as a 
writer for the Church at large, he may see the pleasure of the 
Lord abundantly prospering in his hands/' 

Such a testimony must indeed have been cheering to 
Mr. White, as well as to his congregation, who highly ap- 
preciate the rare gifts of their pastor, many of whom stood 
by him under far different circumstances. 

In 1776, Harrison, in his History of London, wrote that 
Kentish Town was *' formerly a very small village, but is 
now very considerable ; for the air being exceedingly whole- 
some, many of the citizens of London have built houses in it ; 
and such whose circumstances will not admit of that expense, 
take ready-furnished lodgings for the summer, particularly 
those who are afflicted with consumptions and other disorders. 
Here are several boarding schools, and many public-houses, 
it being much resorted to, especially in summer time, by the 
inhabitants of London.'^ 

The " very considerable " village has become a large town, 
and yet, from its contiguity to the hills, the air is wholesome 
though perhaps not now exceedingly so. Many of the citi- 
zens still reside here, and a still larger class of w^U-to-do 
commercial and professional men. Those afflicted with con- 
sumption, who have the means, now go to the sea- side or to 
more salubrious spots made easily accessible by the wonder- 
fully improved and more rapid means of locomotion. There 
are still many boarding schools, but various causes have 
tended to the much larger proportion being removed still 
further into the country. One of the Midland Railway stations 
is now beside " Southampton House Academy," for some time 
tenantless, and now apparently a lodging-house, but at one 
time it was occupied by the Rev. Mr. Bickerdike who was 
principal of a large boarding-school held there. In more 
recent times a " Kinder Garten " was established a little 
higher up the road, but a school of another kind is now held 
there. The Rev. Thomas Tough had for many years con- 
ducted a large school at Woodland House, and subsequently 
at Grove House, and there are still many other schools. 


''And many public-houses'^ may be said now with far 
less approval of their existence than when they were such as 
partook of a rural character, and attracted the inhabitants of 
the city for recreation in the summer-time. The Castle, the 
Assembly House, the Bull and Gate (a corruption of Bou- 
logne Gate) have all been taken down, the last-mentioned 
but recently. Like the others it belonged to the past ; it had 
an attractive side entrance to the gardens, which were at one 
time much frequented by Sunday and holiday parties. It 
partakes no longer of its original quiet and roadside charac- 
ter. A splendid modem gin-palace now monopolises the 
space, and the scene is composed of departing and returning 
omnibuses, amidst glare and excitement unknown a hun- 
dred or even fifty years since. 

The Bull and Last, a little higher up the road, most proba- 
bly originally meant the Last Bull or public-house stopped at 
by graziers or drovers on their road to Smithfield from the 
north. A horse trough in front still marks the original 
object of the house. Fifty years ago or less, there were 
arbours by its side with seats for weary pedestrians. At the 
back of the house was a pathway through the fields — fields 
no longer — unfinished streets now — leading to the Cemetery. 
The primitive wooden bridge over one of the little rills flow- 
ing towards the Fleet ditch is not yet removed. But it soon 
will be, for what spare ground remains is marked out for the 
building of streets which will ere long cover one of the 
pleasant ways through the fields to Highgate. 

This pne of the many tributaries to the Biver Fleet has 
been distinguished by a local artist as the '^ source ^' of the 
river, but ror many years it has served as the channel of one 
of the many various streams descending from these *' north- 
em heights. '^ That tributary at one time crossed under the 
road near where is now Burgnley-terrace. The wall of the 
bridge over it may still be seen. Old inhabitants say that 
the road here was known as Water-lane, from the quantity 
of water which collected in parts near it from the various 
streams then so abundant here. 

The Grove remains as the most rural portion of Kentish 
Town. The fine chestnut trees which skirt the road on either 
side give to the weary Londoner a glimpse of the country, in 
the spring time. The Terrace, with its green paddock in 
front, is a pleasant spot too. '* The Elms," ^* Gothic House," 
" Grove Farm House," &c., are all residences suggestive of 


competence and rural seclusion. The railway, however, as 
everywhere else, has deprived this pleasant retreat of a por- 
tion of that advantage. 

In one of the villas here there resided at the beginning of 
the present century Mr. Thomas Cartwright Slack. He was 
not one who lived only for himself, or was content to live in 
forgetfulness of those around him. There were at that time, 
in Kentish Town, many poor half-employed people who knew 
of no means of eking out a scanty subsistence. Mr. Slack, 
therefore, devised a means to relieve them ; he took a large 
bam in the neighbourhood, and set up a flax-spinning manu- 
factory, and by that means he found emplo^Tnent for some 
of those who needed it. His benevolence did not stop there. 
Seeing no provision for the education of the children of the 
poor, he erected at his own expense the building before 
referred to as the I^ational School in Monte Yideo-place, and 
called on an old map, " The Free School.'' [After many years 
use as a laundry, when the Xational School was removed to 
Islip-street, it has at length (1874) been pulled down for the 
erection on its site of a large elementary school for the School 
Board for London.] By a mysterious providence, however, 
that Philanthropist was suddenly removed. One night in 
December 1815, after the family had retired to rest, an alarm 
of fire awoke them, and all rushed out of the house, excepting 
Mr. Slack, who not seeing his daughter, returned to her room 
in search of her. Sarah Burrell, her nurse, had conveyed 
her down by another staircase, but returned alone to her room 
to fetch some money she had in a box. A neighbour (Mr. 
Wiber) saw the young lady on the staircase, and having 
reached her was about conveying her away to a place of 
safety, when the flooring gave way, and both sank in the 
midst of the ruins — for a moment only, for other neighbours 
were at hand and rescued them both. But Mr. Slack was over- 
powered and suflfocated by the smoke. The poor young 
woman, too, never returned. In the newspapers of the day 
there appeared the following paragraph : 

"On December 19, 1815, were deposited in the family 
vault in the cemetery of St. James's Chapel, Hampstead-road, 
the few remains of the lamented Thomas Cartwright Slack, 
Esq., late of Kentish Town ; and also of his servant, Sarah 
Burrell, who perished when his house was burnt down with 

In the principal room of the National School which Mr, 



Slack erected, there was a tablet let ia the wall. Some few 

old inhabitants remember seeing it when they have attended 

Bible Society meetings there. On enquiry in 1873 of the 

keeper of the laundry, as to its existence, search was made, 

and the following lines were found on it ; but previously 

unobserved by her, though she had been there for 17 years : 

"Thomas Cautwright Slack, Esq, 
Reader : Would you see his monument, look around you !'* 

The inhabitants of the village showed their appreciation of 
the heroic conduct of Mr. Wiber, by presenting him with a 
public subscription. 

From his daughter-in-law, upwards jof seventy years of 
age, an inmate of the St. Pancras Almshouses, the particulars 
of the fire have been obtained as well as a copy of the follow- 
ing lines on the sad occurrence. Though not possessing 
much poetical merit, they are, nevertheless, interesting as a 
memorial of an event of sixty years ago. 

*' An humble tribute to departed worth. Lines on the death of T. C. Slack, 
Esq., of Kentish Town, who perished by fire in attempting to rescue 
his child, on the 24th November 1815. 

that an abler pen than mine would strike the trembling string ; 
that a sweeter harp would join parental love to sing. 
Stronger than death behold it rise, the raging flames defy ; 
One darling infant lost — he flies that infant to dessry. 

Too swiftly flies— it seems full near his innocent had been ; 

Her tiny footsteps winged by fear, for she the fire had seen. 

Eager the frantic father searched, each room with horror wild ; 

In vain— those eyes no more must view that loved, that darling child. 

Hemm'd in by fiames, he life resigns ; the husband, father, friend ! 
Pause here, my soul ; por dare to ask, why virtue fiods such end ? 
Embittered too, the fiery pain, he thinks his child has shared ; 
Embittered by the woes and tears of wife and children spared. 

« « « * * 9|: 

Bub not in death the hapless child attends its father's shade ; 
Exalted parent ! see, behold ! it finds effectual aid. 
Attracted by her plaintive criea, thy counterpart below, 
Intrepid, braving instant death, has borne her safely through. 

Applauding angels bless the deed, the God-like act survey ; 
Wiber ! you'll find it noted in the soul's deciding day. 
But oh I may none of yours e'er find the day of mercy vain ; 
But e'en on earth be this great deed repaid by fellow men. 
• •«•«« 

But here I close ; a sigh is duo to her sad fate who trod 
(Yes ! we may hope, though all unknown) the same dread path to Qod. 
To her whose fatal care reserved the child whence quickly seen 
Clasped in her father's arms — returned, in safety all had been. 

Oh, that thou had'st, ill-fated maid, this living treasure brought, 
ISafe to her parents, and from them reward and succour sought, 
Peace to thy shade i and when the trump shall sleeping millions wake ; 
May'st thou, here doomed to such a death, of endless life partake," 




HOUSE ; ST. Michael's church ; cemetery ; infirmary ; 


The panorama to be seen from Highgate^ as William Hewitt 
says, is studded and clustered with the trophies of those great 
deeds that have made us a great nation. Though ''it is now 
difficult to imagine that all where this enormous London 
stands was once the quiet Forest of Middlesex. Yet such was 
the fact, long after the Norman Conquest." 

In Fitz-Stephen's "Survey of the Metropolis," written 
between 1170 and 1182, we have this description of the 
suburbs : '' There are corn-fields, pastures^ and delightful 
meadows, intermixed with pleasant streams, on which stands 
many a mill whose clack is grateful to the ear. Beyond them, 
a forest extends itself, beautified with woods and groves, and 
full of the lairs and coverts of beasts and game, stags, bucks, 
boars, and wild bulls." The Forest of Middlesex was full 
of yew trees, the growth of which was particularly encouraged 
in those days, and for many succeeding ages, because the 
wood of them was esteemed the best for making bows. This 
charming old Forest, according to Maitland's History of 
London, was disafibrested in 1218, in the reign of Henry 
III. ; and yet in the reign of Henry VIII. there were con- 
siderable hunting grounds for his Majesty's use and pleasure, 
as implied in one of his proclamations. 

Elizabeth, it is suid, had several palaces in North London, 
where she would hunt and hawk in the woods around. Not 

w 2 


only had she quarters at Canonbury Tower, Islington^ but 
also at High gate, Kentish Town and Marylebone. 

Norden states : *' The name is said to be derived from the 
High Gate, or the Gate on the Hill, there having been from 
time immemorial the toll gate of the Bishop of London on 
the summit of the hill/' It was erected in 1386. " When the 
waie was turned ower the said hill to lead through the parke 
of the Bishop of London, as now it doth, there was in regard 
thereof a tole raised upon such as passed that way with 
carriage. And for that no passenger should escape without 
paieing toll by reason of the wideness of the waie, this gate 
was raised, through which of necessity all travellers passe. 
Upon this hill is most pleasant dwelling, yet not so pleasant 
as healthful, for the expert inhabitants there report that 
divers who have long been visited by sickness not curable by 
physick, have in a short time repayred their health by that 
sweet salutarie aire." 

The high gate, Pritchett says, was an arch, with rooms 
over, extending from the Gate House Tavern to the old 
burying- ground which still remains. The rooms were ap- 
proached by a staircase in the eastern buttress ; and im- 
mediately prior to its removal in 1769, were occupied by a 
laundress. Tiie inconvenience to highly-laden waggons in 
passing through compelling them to pass through the yard in 
the rear of the tavern, led to its removal. 

Pedestrians to Highgateutitil some fourteen years since would 
be sure to halt to look at the Hermitage on West Hill, a little 
above the entrance to Millfield-lane. It was a small house 
almost enclosed by tall trees. Adjoining it was a still smaller 
cottage which was said to be the real and original Hermitage. 
" It consisted," says William Howitt, " only of one small low 
room, with a chamber over it, reached by an outside rustic 
gallery. The whole of this Hermitage was covered with ivy, 
evidently of a very ancient growth, as shown by the large- 
ness of its stems and boughs, and the prodigality of its foli- 
age. In fact, it looked liked one mass of ivy. What was 
the origin of the place, or why it acquired the name of Her- 
mitage, does not appear ; but being the last tenant, I found 
that its succession of inhabitants had been a numerous one, 
and that it was connected with some curious histories. Some 
dark tragedies had occurred there. One of its tenants was a 
Sir Wallis Porter, who was an associate of the Prince Regent. 
Here the Prince of Wales used to come frequently to gamble 


with Sir Wallis. This Hermitage, hidden by the tall sur- 
rounding trees, chiefly umbrageous elms, and by the huge 
ivy-tod, seemed a place well concealed for the orgies carried 
on there. The ceiling of the room they used was painted 
with naked figures in the French style, and there they could 
both play as deeply as they pleased, and carouse as jovially. 
But the end of Sir Wallis was that of many another games- 
ter and wassailer. Probably his princely companion, and 
his companions, both drained the purse as well as the cellar 
of Sir Wallis, for he put an end to his existence here, as re- 
ported, by shooting himself." 

Henry Fauntleroy, acting partner of the banking-house of 
Marsh & Co., Berners-street, it was reported, concealed him- 
self for a time at this Hermitage when the ofiicers of justice 
were in search of him, in 1824. His crime was that of forg- 
ing powers of attorney, disposing of Bank of England stock 
to the amount of £170,000. In a tin box a paper was found 
acknowledging his guilt. The embarrassment of the firm in 
which he was a partner arose from the failure of others 
whose bills had been accepted and from the failure of build- 
ing speculations. He stated that he never himself embezzled 
one shilling. Sir Charles Forbes and others gave their high 
opinion of the prisoner's honour, integrity, and goodness of 
disposition, but the jury, after ten minutes' consideration re- 
turned a verdict of Guilty. Every effort was made in his 
behalf by his counsel; his case was twice argued before the 
judges ; many petitions were presented to his Majesty in 
favour of the unhappy man, but all in vain. He was execu« 
ted on Tuesday, November 30th, 1824. Nearly 100,000 
persons were present at the execution. With closed eyes he 
was led by the sheriffs, never turning his head to the right 
or the left, and the vast' crowd took off their hats when he 
appeared. The awful scene then closed. 

Mr. Hewitt was the last occupant of the Hermitage, with 
its quaint buildings, its secluded lawn, and its towering trees. 
There is now a terrace of modern houses on the spot. 

A small villa on West Hill was for many years the resi- 
dence of ** Judge Payne. ^' He lived in great simplicity of 
style, and was ever ready to bestow his bounty upon those 
who needed it. For many years, no anniversary meeting of 
a philanthropic society was complete without the presence 
of Mr. Payne, whose thoroughly hearty and genial nature 
was reflected in his happy countenance. At his funeral in 


Highgate Cemetery there were assembled a multitude of the 
representatives of all the religious and philanthropic societies 
he had so efficiently aided whilst he lived. 

On the opposite side of the road is the entrance gate to 
Holly or IloUybush Lodge, the beautiful residence of the 
Baroness Burdett-Goutts. The story of the rise of the bank 
of Thomas Coutts, and of his marriage with the charming 
Miss Mellon, on her retirement from the stage, in I8I0 ; of 
his death, in 1822, when he bequeathed the whole of his 
immense property to his amiable and devoted wife, of whom 
he had written, that she " had proved the greatest blessing 
of his life, and made him the happiest of men ;" of her bene- 
volent use of the wealth entrusted to her ; of her marriage 
to the Duke of St. Albans, in 1827, then of her adoption of 
Miss Angelina Burdett, daughter of Sir Francis Burdett, and 
the bequeathal to her of all her property, is all well known. 
And equally well known is the fact that her Ladyship has 
not only inherited the material wealth, but that she possesses 
a similar desire to scatter the many blessings it can confer 
around her as did the Duchess of St. Albans. 

Holly Village in Swaines Lane, though erected originally 
for the workpeople on her Ladyship's estate, and to form a 
picturesque and ornamental addition to the view from her 
house, is occupied by a higher class in the social scale. An 
examination of the arrangement and construction of these 
houses would serve to stamp them as model dwellings. 

A turning to the left past the Hermitage Villas is Mill- 
field Lane, in which is ** Charles Mathews's pleasant 
thatched cottage, rising in the midst of green lanes, flower- 
beds, and trelliswork, fancifully wreathed and overgrown 
with jasmine and honeysuckles, says George Daniel in his 
**Merrie England/' The cottage is there, but successive 
occupiers since Mathews's day have altered both the cottage 
and the fanciful wreaths of honeysuckle. It is yet a beauti- 
ful spot, and pleasant associations haunt it. Here Mathews 
*^ collected a more interesting museum of dramatic curiosities 
than had ever been brought together by the industry of man. 
Garrick's medals, a lock of his hair, his old drugget shoes, 
the sandals worn by John Kemble in * Coriolanus ' on the 
last night of that great performer's appearance, the far-famed 
casket carved out of the mulberry tree planted by Shaks- 
pere,'^ besides many portraits of actors and actresses, and 
scenes from various plays, which memorials of theatrical 


history, are now at the Garrick Club House, Covent Gar- 
den. The house in which Mathews lived has been much en- 
larged by succeeding proprietors, though Mathews spent a 
large sum on the house and grounds, and made it a very 
charming retreat. The house next to it is said to have been 
for a short time, occupied by John Ruskin, the great art critic. 

Mrs. Mathews has left, in the memoir of her husband, a 
beautiful tribute to his character. There are those still living 
in Kentish Town who remember Mathews and his peculiar 
gait from lameness, and tailors and shoemakers describe his 
putting himself in all manner of contortions so as to puzzle 
them how to measure him. The real man is described by his 
wife, as " trusting and benevolent in his nature — a benefactor 
without ostentation — a friend without reserve. His tender 
consideration, his unvarying affection for his family, his 
meekness and simplicity in prosperity, his constancy in ad- 
versity ; his moral and religious feelings, of the sincerity of 
which his life was a practical illustration ; his conscientious 
Ailfilment of all he professed, his patient endurance of 
wrongs, his submissive resignation to inflictions, were ad- 

She concludes : " He died without earthly riches, it is true ; 
but he laid up treasures in Heaven which will never decrease ; 
and these thoughts are too precious not to make me satisfied 
with the result of his good intentions. Had he left me mil- 
lions, acquired by hard accumulation, or snatched away from 
his debtors in the midst of their misfortunes ; had he selfishly 
neglected the needy, or proved hard to the erring ; I should 
have been less happy than I now am in the consciousness of 
his deservings, and his extensive Christian charity. 

** Of all the legacies the dying leave 

Remembrance of their virtues is the best.*' 

Though his father, being a Wesleyan, grieved at his son 
becoming an actor, what he most desired, after all, came to 
pass: "He laid up treasures in Heaven which will never 

Mathews met with much success as an actor ; but he struck 
out a new line, that of entertaining audiences by his single 
efforts. For sixteen years " Mathews at Home " was the 
most attractive of entertainments wherever he went. His 
last engagement was in America. He was taken ill on his 
return to England ; on arriving at Liverpool his malady in- 


creased, and he died on 28th June 1835, the anniversary of 
his birth-day, aged 59. 

William Ilowitt says, " In the lane near Highgate leading 
from Millficld-lane to Caen Wood — and from its being often 
frequented by Hunt, Keats, Lamb, Hazlitt, and Coleridge, 
called Poet's-iane — Keats first met Coleridge, who afterwards 
described Keats as a * loose, slack, not well dressed youth,' 
and after shaking hands with him, observed, * there is death 
in that hand.' This was in 1817, when ' every one else 
thought Keats in good health, but when, -evidently, the con- 
sumption which carried off early both himself and his brother, 
was already in progress in him. This disease Keats himself 
believed to have fixed fatally on him in riding outside a coach 
on a cold day from London up to Hampstead," where he 
lived, at Wentworth-place, Downshire Hill. Here he wrote 
some of the noblest of his poems. Leigh Hunt says, " the 
poem with which his first volume begins, was suggested to 
him on a delightful summer day, as he stood by the gate 
which leads from the battery on Hampstead Heath into a 
field by Caen Wood ; and the last poem, the one on * Sleep 
and Poetry,' was occasioned by his sleeping in the Vale of 
Health " in fact at Hunt's own house. 

Overlooking Millfield-lane is Traitors' Hill, a favourite 
resort, and no wonder, for it commands a fine view of Lon- 
don, and that of Highgate and its church makes a picture 
not easily matched. From this hill, it is said, the con- 
federates of Guide Fawkes assembled in the expectation of 
seeinj? the Parliament House blown up. Between this hill 
and the woods of Lord Mansfield, a smaller hill or mound 
marked by a few Scotch firs, is said to be an ancient barrow. 
The tradition states that in very early times the inhabitants 
of St. Alban's were jealous of the growing importance of 
London, and wishing to make their own town the capital of 
this part of England, they set out to attack and destroy the 
rival city ; but the Londoners met and defeated them on this 
spot, and this mound is said to contain the dust of those 

Ornamental as the ponds are in Highgate, and' much as 
thejr contribute to the beauty of the landscape, their original 
design was the supply of North London with water. That 
scheme was established in 1690, by William Paterson, the 
founder of the Bank of England. " Paterson's plan of col» 
lecting the springs of Caen Wood into ponds or reservoirs 


succeeded, and supplied Hampstead and Kentish Town and 
their vicinity till the growing power of the New River 
Company pushed it from the field. The ponds still remain — 
a fine, fresh chain of water, giving life to the scene, and are 
highly delighted in by the summer strollers from London/' 

The northernmost pond was completely dry during a 
drought, about the year 1816, which lasted several weeks. 
Mr. Prickett, in his " History of'Highgate/' says that on that 
occasion, Gillman and Atkins's menagerie of beasts and birds 
was exhibited on the site, and the novelty created great 
attraction. He adds, "this was the only visitation of the 
kind within the memory of the oldest inhabitant/' There 
were no reporters to record when the original inhabitants 
of the forest had here their undisputed abode, nor when the 
last of them took their flight. 

Caen or Ken Wood House was built by Robert Adam, an 
architect of eminence in the reign of George III., and who 
with his two brothers built the Adelphi Terrace, which then 
&ced the river, but has now the garden and fine road of the 
Thames embankment between. Caen Wood House has two 
fronts ; the one facing the north has projecting wings, while 
that facing the south extends along a noble terrace, with its 
frontage lengthened by a one-storied wing at each side. With- 
in the spacious and lofty rooms are some specimens of Claude, 
portraits of the first Earl Mansfield, Alexander Pope, and 
Betterton the actor. But the park, of fifty acres, is the great 
attraction to visitors; The ground is hilly and at the foot is 
a continuation of the Highgate ponds, skirted by a belt of 
fine well-grown wood which cuts off the view of the metro- 
polis. ''Here you have,^' says Howitt, *'all the sylvan seclu- 
sion of a remote country mansion ; and charming walks, said 
to be nearly two miles in extent, conduct you round the park, 
and through the woods, where stand some trees of huge 
growth and grandeur, especially cedars of Lebanon and 
beeches. A good deal of this planting — especially some fine 
cedars yet near the house— was done under the direction of 
the first Lord himself. A custom is kept up here which 
smacks of the old feudal times. Every morning, when the 
night watchman goes off duty, at six o'clock, he fires a gun, 
and immediately three long winds are given on a horn to call 
the servants, gardeners, and labourers to their employment. 
The honi is blown again at breakfast and dinner hours, and 
at six in the evening for their dismissal." 


An entertainment was given on the occasion of the visit of 
William IV., accompanied by the Duke of "Wellington, to 
Caen Wood, on 23rd July 1836, by Earl Mansfield, when 
a triumphal arch was erected on Hampstead Heath, and an 
address presented to the king. 

In the Park adjoining Caen Wood, there formerly stood 
Fitzroy House, erected in 1780. In the rooms were portraits 
of Henry the first Duke of Grafton, George Earl of Euston, 
and Charles Duke of Grafton. The Duke of Buckingham 
resided there in 1811. In 1828 the house was taken down, 
and '' instead of it and its grounds, expand the pleasant 
Fitzroy Park and its pleasant villas." Many persons used to 
be deterred from entering the road leading out of Millfield- 
lane to this park because of a notice board stating it to be a 
private road. But there being no keeper or policeman to 
deter the more daring in the pursuit of '^ fresh fields and 
pastures new'' all such find it to be indeed a delightftil 
retreat. Some of the owners have apparently no desire to 
exclude the admiring if not the jealous eyes of the passers-by, 
but the owners of one of the villas whicn takes its name from 
the adjoining wood, has had high palinfgs placed along the 
road, to the exclusion of the natural current of air which 
renders so beautifully verdant the lawns of those who are less 
desirous of being exclusive. 

Dr. Southwood Smith once lived in a villa here ; he con- 
tributed more than any physician or man of science of his 
day to call attention to sanitary reform, such as drainage and 
the removal of all the causes of destruction of health and 
social decency. He was appointed by the Government in 
1837 to enquire into the state of the poor, with a view to see 
how far diseases and misery were the effect of unhealthy 
dwellings and bad habits — the result of his labours being 
the establishment of the Board of Health, of which he was 
a leading member. 

Lord Dufferin lived in the house now called Caen Wood 
Towers built on a pleasant eminence in Fitzroy Park. His 
*' Letters from High Latitudes " called public attention to 
the fact of his being no unworthy representative of Kichard 
Brinsley Sheridan, of whose genius he inherits a considerable 
share, as well as his spirit for liberal reform. Lady Gifford, 
his mother, resided in the same house. She was the author 
of the touching song, '* I am sitting on the stile, Mary.'' 

"The old green of Highgate,^' as Howitt says, "yet boasts 


its old elm and lime tree avenue, and has an air of quiet 
and of the past. Around, stretch fields and hills and glades 
that possess an eminent beauty, which on Sundays and 
holidays suddenly make the Londoner think himself a 
countryman, and almost poetical. Especially crossing by 
the footpath to Hampstead, with those green undulating 
fields, the noble forest look of Caen Wood, the chain of five 
ponds, and the far-opening views, there is little English 
pastoral scenery to excel it. Turning back to look at 
Highgate itself, the aspect of it is singularly beautiful and 
picturesque. The white villas, amid their trees and pleasant 
grounds running up the hill, are finely terminated by the 
tall spire of the church. On either hand, green uplands and 
noble scattered trees, with the water flashing at their feet, 
compose a picture that has no peer anywhere immediately 
around London, and reminds one rather of a foreign than an 
English suburb. As for those fields themselves, with their 
green swells and slopes, and their trees dispersed in park-like 
order, they remind me of hundreds of miles of such lands 
that I have traversed in Australia, as park-like, as fertile, as 
green in Spring, and having an air of centuries of the polish- 
ing touch of human hands, though no hands save those of 
God have touched them, and no leet but those' of the savage 
and his Kangaroo have, till lately, traversed them.'* 

Prior to the making of the roadway through the arch or 
Highgate termination of the road, Highgate Green had 
" grassy walks and shady avenues, the scenes of exercise and 
harmless mirth," and was referred to in an old comedy 
of 1601." 

When Pritchett wrote his *^ History of Highgate," in 
1843, he stated, '* There are still those who well remember 
the rows of stately timber loftily rising on its bold summit, 
as land-marks inviting and cheering notice. Many have been 
mercilessly sacrificed, but those remaining are of great age, 
and show the pains formerly taken to ornament Highgate 

From old legal documents it appears that there once stood 
*' a certain capital messuage of the late Henry Marquis of 
Dorchester/' also a ''capital messuage or mansion house, 
together with all the edifices, barns, stables, gardens, orchards, 
courtyards, &c., situate and lying in Highgate aforesaid." 
*' One piece or parcel of the waste of the lord of the manor 
lying upon Highgate Green." That Dorchester Mansion 


House subsequently became the Ladies' Hospital, founded by 
William Blake, in 1666, which was probably the first school 
established after the Reformation. It stood, in 1843, on the 
spot where " Mrs. Gillman's and Mr. Sittwell's residences 
now are, and a portion of the materials were probably used in 
erecting those and the adjoining houses. After the removal 
of Dorchester House, among the early occupants of the 
northernmost one of the houses afterwards erected were Sir 
Francis and Lady Pemberton, whose name has ever since 
been given to the Row." 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived at Highgate for eighteen 
years till " death gently took him away ^* on July 26, 1834. 
The motive which led to his residence in the house of 
Mr. James Gillman (the third one from the high road) in the 
Grove, was to enable him to shake off his unhappy bondage 
to the acquired habit of opiiun-eating. His physical strength 
had given way, and his mind, at no time energetic and reso- 
lute, had become utterly unstrung. Under the roof of 
Mr. Gillman, and in the bosom of his affectionate family, the 
last years of the poet's life were quietly spent. " A cool 
and peaceful evening, after the storm of a hot and feverish 
day. Here, on the brow of Highgate Hill,'* to quote Carlyle, 
'^ he sate looking down on London and its smoke-tumult, like 
a sage escaped from the inanity of life's battle, attracting 
towards him the thoughts of innumerable brave souls still 
engaged there — heavy-laden, high- aspiring, and surely much- 
suffering man." 

The German poet, Freiligrath, as quoted by WiUiam Howitt, 
says : " A large circle of friends and disciples gathered round 
him ; and he tauglit and talked amongst his trees and flowers, 
like Plato in the garden of Academus. What men entered 
Mr. Gillman's humble porch in those days ! —Lamb and 
Wordsworth, Southey and Leigh Hunt, Hazlitt and Talfourd, 
John Stirling and Thomas Carlyle — a hero worshipped, and 
sometimes> all feel bound to add, reverentially censured by 
heroes. Ludwig Tieck, too, we are agreeably surprised to 
meet amongst his Highgate visitors. He, however, did not 
come to listen, but to be listened to. At the request of 
Coleridge, Tieck, in a long midnight discourse, developed to 
him his views of Shakspere, concerning whom, and his English 
commentators, the two friends were at variance. In this 
way eighteen y«ars passed by : he dreamt and he talked, 
he cultivated his flowers, and fed his little pensioners the 


hirds, until, on July 25, 1834, death gently took him 

Amongst the frequent visitors of Coleridge was Edward 
Irving, who sat at his feet, an admiring auditor. As stated 
in a previous chapter, the influence of Coleridge greatly 
tended to aflfect the theology of Irving, as well as nearly all 
those kindred minds which he attracted around him, but, as 
Howitt says, " Coleridge never had a nobler and mof e Chris- 
tian one than Edward Irving. AVTiatever may be thought of 
his belief of the continuance of Christian miracles and pre- 
ter-natural gifts to the present day, and his participation in 
the too eager faith in the personal appearance of Christ ou 
earthy there can be but one opinion of his perfectly Christlike 
spirit.'^ Thwarted and snubbed by those '' who his inspired 
eloquence had drawn together — though these harsh trials 
broke his heart, and sent him to an early grave, he never for 
a moment harboured any resentment. He continued perse- 
cuted, meek, loving and forgiving to the last. Since the days 
of his great prototype and Saviour, we know of no man who so 
much resembled him in patient, loving, and unresentful faith.'' 

" Long will the pleasant walks around Highgate be con- 
nected with the memory of Coleridge. The woodland seclu- 
sion of Millford-lane, and the fields lying between them and 
Hampstead, will, to the lovers of genuine poetry and broadly 
discursive minds, revive the image of the ' old man eloquent ' 
taking his daily stroll, with his black coat and white locks, a 
book in his hand, and, probably, a group of curious children 
around him, whose acquaintance he was fond of making." 

During the latter part of Coleridge's time, Thomas Pringle, 
the first editor, and one of the projectors of ^* Blackwood's 
Magazine," lived in the last house on Holly-terrace, farthest 
from the road. He was familiar with Coleridge. He wrote 
an interesting *^ Narrative of a Residence in South Africa.^' 
Though possessing a well developed body, he had scarcely 
any legs, owing to an accident in childhood, yet he was able 
to ride enthusiastically after lions and elephants in the Cape 

The Mansion House, built by Sir William Ashurst, Lord 
Mayor of London, in 1694, commanded a most extensive 
prospect of the country on the one side, and a commanding 
view of the metropolis on the other. Its chestnut staircase, 
from the designs of Inigo Jones, and tapestried chambers were 
the subject of general admiration. The grounds were most 



extensive, and laid oiit with great taste. Part of them form 
now the Highgate Cemetery. The last resident of the man- 
sion was Sir Alan Chambre, Justice of the Common Pleas. 
When taken down in 1830, for the erection of the new Church 
of St. Michael, the stone doorway, with coat of arms was 
purchased by Mr. Townsend, of High-street, for an entry to 
his residence. The eccentric Mr. Thompson of ** Frognall 
Priory " also became the possessor of other memorials of this 
celebrated house. 

The church of 8t. Michael was built on this site in 1832. 
From its being iii the boundary of St. Pancras, difficulties 
arose as to its ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which were removed 
by the passing of an amendment to the Act of Parliament 
by virtue of which it had been erected, thereby making 
liighgate an independent district of itself. The building 
cost £10,000, half of which was contributed by the Church 
Commissioners, £2,000 from the funds of Bishop GrrindaU's 
estate left for the sustentation of the old chapel, and the 
remainder by the inhabitants. 

It is an elegant specimen of the later English style. The 
north-west elevation, facing fiighgate Grove, has a fine 
appearance. The interior has much to commend it, while 
the stained glass window, executed at Rome, representing the 
Saviour and his Apostles, was the gift of the Rev. C. Mayo, 
many years preacher in the Old Chapel. Several coats of 
arms nave been placed here from that chapel, as well as a 
few interesting monuments, the most noted being that of the 
poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge; also of James Gillman, sur- 
geon, — *^ the friend of S. T. Coleridge/' 

Behind the church, on a part of the grounds of the Old 
Mansion House, is the Highgate Cemetery. The lofty spire 
of the church looks most picturesque as it towers above the 
surrounding trees, while the irregularity of the ground, rising 
here as a terrace, and sinking there as a valley, added to 
which are the resources of landscape gardening, all give to 
this cemetery an attraction for the visitor, beyond that which 
the memories of the departed alone can afford. It was opened 
by the Bishop of London in 1839, and is now fully occupied, 
so that an additional ground was required to be taken. The 
gloom which settled upon the old churchyards is here dispelled 
by the beautiful flowers and the ornamental tombs, while 
seats placed in alcoves and on rising ground give even a 
charm to this city of the dead. Many whom the visitors 


have known^ as preachers^ as authors^ as philanthropists, or 
as public men are recalled by the record of their excellencies. 

Overlooking the new ground is the Infirmary of St. Pancras, 
a heavy lofty building, with long windows. The arrange- 
ments of the institution and the treatment of the inmates 
may be all admirable, but many of those who are being taxed 
to pay for it cannot look upon it with much pleasure. But 
the dispute as to its necessity and the party strife it engen- 
dered are now nearly at rest. 

A verv near neighbour to the Infirmary is the Small-pox 
Hospital, a similar building, architecturally, to that originally 
in St. Pancras-road. No doubt the site is mOst desirable for 
healthiness, but as in the case of the Infirmarj^ the ascent of 
the hill must be a drawback in the conveyance of the sick. 

In Newcourt's *' Repertorium " is an account of the Old 
Chapel near the Gatehouse. He says, *' On the site where 
the present chappell stands stood from time immemorial a 
chappell for the ease of this part of the country, called the 
Chappell of St. Michael." This hermitage or chapel was in 
the gift of the Bishop of London ; and on the 20th February 
1386, Robert de Braybrook, then Bishop of the See, gave it 
to William Lichfield, a poor infirm hermit ; it was next 
granted by Bishop Stokesley, in 1531, to William Forte, a 
hermit, and supposed to be the last at Highgate, *^ in con- 
sideration of his good services to the said bishop, to pray for 
his soul, and the souls of his predecessors, and the souls of 
all the faithful deceased." 

William Lichfield, according to Norden, was a poor, infirm 
hermit, but he dug and carried gravel from the top of the 
hill, raised the road, then appropriately called Hollow-way, 
it having become impassable. In that way he made a pond 
at the top of the hill, which was filled up in 1865, and is now 
railed round and planted with evergreens. 

The hermit's cell was perhaps the earliest residence here, 
and pilgrims resorted to the holy well, formerly called Mouse 
Well, or Muswell, from whence comes Muswell Hill. No 
doubt they also sought the benefit of the good man's prayers, 
and eventually a chapel arose, dedicated to St. Michael. 
" The chapel of Highgate 'was granted by Bishop Grindal, 
afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1565, to a new 
grammar school erected and endowed the year before by Sir 
Roger Cholmeley, late Lord Chief Justice, with gardens, 
orchards, and two acres of land." 


Sir Roger when he had pursued an active and successful 
course in the law, becoming Chief Justice of the King's 
Bench, on his removal in the reign of Mary, settled at last in 
Hornsey, where he possessed lands bequeathed him by his 
father. Here he passed the evening of his days, dying in 
June 1565. Like many pious Protestants of former days, he 
was desirous of promoting the diffusion of knowledge and 
religion, and the school he founded in 1662, " at his own 
charge, and procured the same to be established and con- 
firmed by the letters patent of Queen Elizabeth, he endowing 
the same with yearly maintenance," is stated on an inscrip- 
tion formerly on the west end of the old chapel. 

But as in the case of most of the 3,000 other endowed 
grammar schools of England, the original object to found " a 
grammar school for the education of poor boys living in 
High gate and the neighbouring parts ; and to provide a fund 
for the relief of certain poor persons in the village or hamlet 
of Highgate '^ is set at naught, for the school is now per- 
verted from its original intention. "William Howitt says: 
** As in all such schools, what was intended for the poor has 
been usurped by the rich, and so far from the children of the 
poor receiving any benefit from this substantial endowment, 
those of the respectable tradesmen of the place have been 
excluded by the pressure of wealth and the spirit of caste. . 
. . One of the great reforms needed in England, in regard 
to all kinds of endowed institutions, is that of a resuscitated 
conscience in such matters.'* 

There is small ground of hope of such resuscitation, with 
the flagrant usurpation by the rich and the influential of such 
an institution as Christ^s Hospital ; and the revised schemes 
of the Endowed Schools Commissioners are sometimes re- 
jected by the Legislature because of their departure from the 
spirit of the founder's intentions, in this respect, the excuse 
being that the poor are now being provided for by School 

The property which sustain this Highgate grammar school 
consists of lands and rent charges on lands and tenements in 
Highgate, in St. Martin's Ludgate, and St. Martin's, Crooked- 
lane, liondon ; in Stoke Newington, Hendon, and Kentish 
Town, bequeathed by Sir Roger Cholmeley, John Dudley, 
Esq., Jasper Cholmeley, Esq., and William Piatt, Esq., the 
monument of the last-named being in St. Pancras Church. 
In 1762 the annual income from these estates was upwards 


of £152. Of course it must now be vastly increased. Besides, 

there is the interest of £4,260 invested in the funds. The 

master is the Rev. Dr. Dyne, and the school is held in great 


• The school and chapel were re-built in 1866. Some 

monumental stones remain in the churchyard and under 

the buildings. 

Dr. Lewis Atterbury, who was Rector of Hornsey, and for 
thirty-six years preacher in the Highgate Chapel, a brother 
of Bishop Atterbury, was buried here in 1731. Also Sir 
Francis Pemberton, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, had a 
monument here. In the register of marriages there is the 
record (1636) of a son of Sir Henry Hobart, Chief Justice 
of the Common Pleas, whose family resided at Highgate for 
many years. In 1646, Robert Earl of Warwick and EUenor 
Countess of Sussex were married at this Chapel. Other dis- 
tinguished families are here represented, such as the Main- 
warings, De la Warre, &c. Sir John WoUaston was buried 
in the chancel, April 29, 1668. His memory is perpetuated 
by almshouses for poor widows in Southwood-lane, which 
were pulled down and rebuilt in 1722, by Edward Paunceford, 
Esq., adding a school-house for 20 girls who are clothed and 
educated. The Marquis of Dorchester had a Mansion at 
Highgate. He was remarkable for his learning; was a 
bencher of Gray's Inn, and a fellow of the College of Phy- 
sicians. His daughter the Lady Anne Peerpoint, it is here 
recorded, married " John La Rosse, sonne of the Right 
Honourable the Earle of Rutland," July 15, 1658, which was 
dissolved by Act of Parliament 1666. *^ Charlotte, daughter 
of Sir John Pettus, buried May 28, 1678." Sir John was 
cupbearer to Charles II. and William III. He was author 
of a history of mines and minerals, and he abridged the book 
by Sir John Darril and Sir E. Coke on '* England's Indepen- 
dency of the Papal Power.'' 

In Southwood-lane there was a Presbyterian Chapel in 
1662 ; it became XJnitarian in 1806, and in 1814 the Baptists 
took possession, and so it remains to the present, with the 
Rev. Mr. Barnard as minister. 

Where now is the Literary and Scientific Institution was 
once the carriage-house and stabling of Sir John Hawkins, 
the author of the " History of Music.'* He was accustomed 
to proceed in his stately carriage, drawn by four horses, 
while he was chairman of the Quarter Sessons for Middlesex, 
to Hicks^s Hall. 


Norden gives some account of Arundell House, and says : 

*' At this place Cornwalleys, Esq., hath a very faire 

house, from which he may with great delight hehold the 
stateley cities of London, Westminster, Greenwich, the 
famous River Thamyses, and the country towards the south 
very farre/' This house was said to have been visited by 
Queen Elizabeth on 11th June 1589, when the beUringers 
at St. Margaret's, Westminster "were paid 6d. when the 
Queen's Majesty came from Highgate." On Ist May 1604, 
a splendid royal festival was made to James I. when he 
visited the Cornwallises. Ben Jonson was employed to com- 
pose his dramatic interlude of ** The Penates " on the occa- 
sion ; and Sir Basil Brooke, of Madeley, in Shropshire, was 
knighted then at the same time. This house is presumed by 
a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, for 1828, to be the 
same afterwards occupied by the Earl of Arundell, as it was 
the principal one in the place. According to Nichols, the 
first mention of the Earl of Arundell at High gate was in 
1617, as connected with the great Lord Bacon. '* King 
James I. went, on Sunday, June 2, 1624, towards evening, to 
Ilighgate, and lay at the Lord of Arundell's, to hunt a stag 
early the next morning in St. John's Wood. The death of 
the Viscount St. Albans, in 1626, is the only subsequent 
event connected with the Earl of Aruiidell's House that I 
have met with." Arabella Stuart, in the reign of James I. 
fled from this house, but was brought back, and after a cap- 
tivity of four years in the Tower, she died 27th September 
1615. The house was on the bank, and in the Elizabethan 
style ; it became a school previous to being taken down in 
1825. A part of the garden and wall alone remain. 

Lower down the hill is Lauderdale House, supposed to 
have been built about the year 1600, and for many years 
was the residence of the Earls of Lauderdale, who were 
eminent as statesmen and warriors. It was afterwards the 
residence of Nell Gwynne, mistress of Charles 11. and 
mother of the first Duke of St. Albans. It is an old-fashioned 
mansion, and is now used as a convalescent home in con- 
nection with St. Bartholomew's Hospital, having been given 
for that purpose by Sir Sydney Waterlow. 

A little lower still was the house of Andrew Marvell. It 
was an unostentatious house, with simple gables and plain 
windows, and but one story high. Some old trees were in 
front, and a convenient porch to the house, in which the old 


patriot could sit and watch the coaches on their way to and 
from the north. It was at last altered, and eventually 
pulled down to make room for the extensive modern Fairseat 
House of Sir Sydney Waterlow. Andrew Marvell was bom 
in 1620 and died in 1678. He wrote a valuable work on the 
" Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government/' which 
might be printed with advantage in the present day. 

Opposite the site of MarvelUs House is Cromwell House, a 
red brick building of about the year 1630. Though called 
by the name of the Protector, it was built by him for General 
Ireton, who married Cromwell's daughter. It has been said 
that there was a subterranean passage between this house 
and the Mansion House. The staircase is richly decorated 
with oaken carved figures, supposed to be of persons in the 
General's army, in their costumes. The ceiling of the draw- 
ing-room is ornamented with the arms of Ireton, while 
carved devices emblematical of warfare abound in all parts of 
the building. It is now, through the benevolence of the 
owner of Fairseat House, devoted to the purpose of a conva- 
lescent home for the Ormond-street Sick Children's Hospital. 

Leaving St. Joseph's Retreat on the right, on the opposite 
side is the narrow roadway which leads to the Highgate 
Archway. *' I shall not soon forget,'' says Howitt, ** the 
astonishment of the Danish poet, Andersen, on his first visit 
to England, as we drove at night over Highgate Archway, 
and he saw the great world metropolis mapped out in fire 
below him." The Archway Eoad was projected in th^ year 
1809 by means of a company, under the direction of Mr. 
Robert Vazie, engineer. The lower arch is surmounted by 
three others forming a bridge 36 feet high, with a handsome 
stone balustrade, 300 feet in length. 

The original intention was to form a tunnel to avoid the 
steep Highgate Hill from the north to the road leading south- 
west. A company had power by Act of Parliament to 
borrow £60,000. The tunnel was completed, but engineer- 
ing was then comparatively in its infancy, and some prin- 
ciple being wanting, the tunnel fell in between four and five 
o'clock in the morning of April 13, 1812, with a tremendous 
crash, and the whole labour of many months became a heap 
of ruins. Those who heard the noise described it as like that 
of distant thunder, and the houses in the vicinity were 
affected as by the shock of an earthquake. The workmen 
had expected the catastrophe from the insufficiency of brick 

X 2 


used and the inferior quality of the cement. Fortunately no 
lives were lost. The Highgate Archway is due therefore to 
the failure of the projected tunnel. Many fossils were found 
in the course of the work, such as sword-fish teeth, shark's 
teeth, petrified fish, nautili^ wood, shells and vegetahle 

A row of trees on the north side of the lane (Homsey) 
presented a singular appearance, by their heads closing upon 
each other. 

The present Archway Eoad was opened on the 21st 
August 1813. The Junction Eoad to Kentish Town was 
then made, and thus the ascent of the steep Highgate Hill 
was rendered unnecessary by travellers to the north. 

In the '' Beauties of England and Wales,'^ it is stated that 
** about the year 1390, Richard Whittington was travelling 
to Highgate, for at the foot of the hill stands an upright 
stone, inscribed ' Whittington Stone,' which marks the spot 
where another originally stood, traditionally said to have 
been that on which the celebrated Richard Whittington sat 
down to ruminate on his hard fortune, on his way back to 
the country, after he had been induced to run away from his 
master's house, on account of the ill-usage he experienced^ 
from the cook maid. The tradition relates that while sitting 
pensively on this spot, his ears were on a sudden assailed by 
a peal from Bow bells, which seemed to urge him to retrace 
his steps in the following distich : 

Turn again Whittington, 
Thricso Lord Mayor of London. 

" The original stone, which lay flat on the ground, was 
broken into two pieces ; those fragments were removed some 
years back by the surveyor of the roads, and placed as curb- 
stones against the posts at the corner of Queen's Head 

Tradition also states that the stone was placed on Highgate 
Hill by the desire of Whittington after he had acquired 
wealth and fame, as a stepping-stone (of which specimens 
may still be seen in other places) for mounting or dismounting 
his horse at the foot of the hill, in his rides which he was 
accustomed to take in the neighbourhood. 

For many years the inscription on the. stone was scarcely 
discernible ; but now a new stone has been set up, no longer 
associated with the same interest to the enthusiastic an- 


tiquary; but it has the advantage of being easily read, 
and is protected by a railing. It is as follows : 

Whittiogton Stone. 

Sir Richard Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London. 

1397 Richard n. 

1409 Henry IV. 

1419 Henry V. 

Sheriff in 1393. 

A tradesman's lamp surmounts the railings, and so serves 
a twofold purpose. 

Sir Richard Whittington built the original Newgate, part 
of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, the east end of Guildhall, and 
it is supposed he was the original founder of the Whittington 

According to StoweX1603) the "Hospital or almes house, 
called God's House, for 13 poor men, with a colledge called 
Whittington Colledge, founded by Richard Whittington, 
mercer, and suppressed; but the poore remaine^ and are 
paid their allowance by the mercers." 

These Almshouses in the Archway Road are models of 
neatness, and in the centre of the beautifully kept lawn and 
shrubbery is a statue of the boy Whittington listening to 
Bow bells. 

Near the stone in the Highgate Road was the Lazar 
House, founded by William Pole, for which purpose Edward 
IV. gave a parcel of land, for the relief and harbour of 
leprous and destitute persons in the kingdom. 

Instead of the delightful meadows, with pathways towards 
Swaines-lane, we have now the commencement of Highgate 
,New Town. Factories are being built in the contiguous 
neighbourhood of Holloway, and the poetry of the past is 
being superseded by the age of steam, and its accessories. 
The Mission Hall indicates the class of the population 
attracted here by small houses, while the unlet and unfinished 
larger ones, with shops, and stucco work, are beginning to 
decay. On Saturday nights the main road is thronged as 
the beer shops and public-houses disgorge their customers. 
But, as yet, Highgate proper remains, beautiful for situation, 
and fragrant with its memories of the past. 




When, in 1811, Dr. Middleton was appointed to the vicar- 
age of St. Pancras, there was a population of 46,333, inhabit- 
ing 5,826 houses, while the church at that time, as described 
by Le Bas, his biographer, was " an ancient and confined 
edifice, capable of accommodating about 150 persons, and 
fitted only for the population of St. Pancras when it was a 
small village on the outskirts of liondon. At Kentish Town 
was an ancient chapel-of-ease, which might contain nearly 
the same number. The relation between the pastor and his 
flock was thus in danger of being utterly lost, and the mass 
of the parishioners were well nigh cut off from all communion 
with the church, except through the very questionable medium 
of a few proprietary chapels.'' When Dr. Middleton's inten- 
tion to erect a church of adequate dimensions was made known, 
he met with great opposition, and motives of self-aggrandise- 
ment were attributed to him. He then issued an address, in 
which he said, " The condition of the parish is capable of 
almost incalculable improvement ; and the foundation of that 
improvement must be laid, if anywhere, in the act for building 
a parish church," 

Dr. Middleton 's laudable object, however, was unsuccessful. 
Yet his exertions made the minds of the people familiar with 
the subject, and doubtless cleared the ground for his successor, 
Dr. Moore, who, upon Dr. Middleton's elevation to the see of 
Calcutta (being the first Bishop of the Church of England in 
India), became vicar in 1814. In that year the first Church 
Trustees Act was passed, by which power was conferred upon 
a board of trustees to raise rates within the parish for the 
building of a parish church and a chapel-of-ease. 


In 1822 the new parish church was completed and conse- 
crated, giving accommodation for 8,000 persons ; and the old 
parish church became a chapel- of- ease, with the title of 
*^ The Parish Chapel." In 1824, Camden Chapel was conse- 
crated, accommodating 1,700, a pastoral district being assigned 
to it. Somers Town and Regent's Square chapels, each ac- 
commodating 2,000, were consecrated in 1826 ; the cost of 
the sites and the necessary expenses for furnishing and com- 
pleting being defrayed out of the parochial rates, and that of 
the buildings from the parliamentary grants of £1,500,000 
voted in 1818 and 1824 for the building of new churches in 
populous places. 

It should be mentioned here that, although the opposition 
to the building of these new churches was sometimes led by 
pers6ns whose characters and motives were not always above 
reproach, there were also conscientious Nonconformists who 
aided in the opposition. Their united eflforts were successful 
in preventing from that time the levying of rates for church 

Until 1836 very little more was attempted save the opening 
of the Collegiate Chapel of St. Katherine's in the Regent's 
Park, with 300 sittings. The census of 1831 had been taken, 
and showed a further increase of 31,710 persons, with 3,545 
additional inhabited houses ; the return showing a population 
in the parish of 103,648 persons and 12,369 houses. 

In 1836, the proprietary chapel in Gray's Inn road, 
accommodating 1,300, originally built by the followers of 
William Huntingdon, and occupied by them for many years, 
was opened for public worship according to the forms of the 
Episcopal Church, and after ten years efforts, the freehold 
was secured and it was consecrated as St. Bartholomew's 
parish church. 

Iji 1837, Christ Church, in Albany-street, was consecrated, 
and also, in 1842, the church of All Saints in Gordon -square, 
together affording room for 2,800 ; making the total church 
accommodation provided in the parish for 19,600, while the 
census returns of 1841 gave a total of 129,969 persons. 

The opposition raised to Church Rates was so successful 
that the Church Trustees, impressed with the necessity of 
providing additional churches in the parish, commenced a 
general fund, on the voluntary principle, for the purpose of 
assisting local efforts, and the St. Pancras Church Building 
Fund was accordingly instituted in 1842. 


In 1845, the peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter 
of St. Paul's ceased, and the jwirish became subject to the 
episcopal superintendence of the Bishop of London. 

In the same year the Kentish Town Chapel (St. John-the- 
Baptist) was enlarged, giviiig extra room for 600 persons. 

While the works, which occupied nearly a year, were 
being carried on, the congregation were accommodated in a 
temporary wooden church erected for the purpose on ground 
lent by St. John's College, Cambridge. This structure de- 
serves some notice as the first instance in England, as far as 
we are aware, of the erection of a merely temporary church. 

Mr. Peter Thompson, who had advertised wooden churches 
prepared for exportation to the colonies for the use of emi- 
grants, erected for them an extremely neat and simple church 
on brick foundations for 500 adults and 300 children. As 
Mr. Eivington said, " It became the model of a series of tem- 
porary churches, built of brick or iron, so as to come within 
the law, and has thus been a source of enduring usefulness, 
not only to the Church of England, but to other communions 
which have availed themselves of this simple method of pro- 
viding for the immediate celebration of public worship, 
without waiting for the completion of the permanent and 
more costly structure, which is .not unfrequently the work 
of years." 

A site was acquired by the association for the new church 
of St. John, Charlotte-street, which was consecrated in 1846 ; 
the site cost £5,200, which was provided for by a grant from 
the Church Building Fund, and by private subscriptions. 
The church was built by means of a donation of £5,000 
entrusted by *'a Lady '' to Bishop Blomfield for the purpose 
of building a church in the metropolis. 

In 1846, also, the first of a series of temporary iron churches 
was erected in the Camden- road, Camden Town. It was 
capable of accommodating 600 persons. From this humble 
beginning has originated the church known as St Paul's. 
• On the decease of Dr. Moore, in July 1846, the Rev. 
Thomas Dale assumed the pastoral charge of St. Pancras. 
His first care was to investigate the extent of the provision 
which had been made for the religious instruction of so vast 
and dense a population ; and the result of this investigation 
disclosed, he said, an appalling state of spiritual destitution 
which called for the immediate and strenuous exertion of all 
those who were concerned to advance the glory of God, and 


who were desirous of promoting the hest interests of mankind. 
He estimated the church accommodation a£fofded as adequate 
for but 20,000 out of 150,000, or church room for one in 
eight of the inhabitants. Mr. Dale concluded, that to supply 
the then want, ten churches were required. The following 
description is then given by the zealous vicar of a particular 
district of the parish in which '^ poverty, immorality, im- 
purity, and irreligion " then existed. 

" The melancholy fact is," he says, ** that I could point to 
a locality with a population of 20,000, where nine-tenths of 
the children are growing up in utter ignorance of aU religious 
truth, and complete indifference to every moral obligation ; 
and that not one in twenty — I fear I might say not one in 
fifty — of the adult population are accustomed to perform any 
act of religious worship, or have attached themselves to any 
denomination of professing Christians. In short, they have 
everything of Heathenism but its excuse, and notlung of 
Christianity but its name." 

It seems hardly credible that so deplorable and discourag- 
ing a statement could have been made twenty-seven years 
ago of any part of the parish^ and yet it must have been but 
too true, for Mr. Dale asserted that *' actual enquiry has 
established beyond all question the melancholy fact.'' The 
district more particidarly referred to no doubt comprised the 
parts of Somers Town and perhaps of Agar Town which are 
now swept away. 

He says, '^ As one who is most deeply pained at existing 
evils, and most solemnly bound to seek their remedy, I ven- 
ture to propose a scheme by which funds may be raised for 
erecting and endowing at least one church in every year, 
while immediate provision may be found for the support of 
resident ministers in those districts where the population is 
still as sheep having no shepherd, but of whom, I trust, it 
can no longer be said, ' No man careth for my soul.' '' 

The new vicar then propounded his scheme of Church 
Extension, by the ecclesiastical division of the parish, which 
met with the ** concurrence of the clergy and the approvfil 
of the Diocesan." It was: — *' 1. That the Parish of St. 
Fancras be divided into Ecclesiastical Districts, on the prin- 
ciple, as far as may be, of providing church room for at least 
one-fourth of the population, and assigning to each district, 
as far as local convenience will permit, a fair proportion of 
rich -and poor. 2. That Clergymen be appointed to the 


several districts, and provision made for the celebration of 
divine service therein, either in temporary churches or li- 
censed rooms, with the least possible delay. 

The Bishop of London (Br. Blomfield) preached, in the 
March following the issuing of this address, in St. Pancras 
Church, and the collections exceeded £700. A special 
meeting of the committee of the St. Pancras Church Exten- 
sion Fund was held on the 18th of the same month, when it 
was determined to appoint at once four clergymen, who 
should labour in as many districts. One of the first of 
those districts marked out by Mr. Dale was that which is 
now the parish of Holy Trinity, Haverstock Hill. " On the 
very next morning, 19th of March 1847, by a coincidence 
which I shall ever regard as providential,^' says the Rev. 
Canon Dale, **I had an unexpected visit from the Rev. 
David Laing, who at once with his characteristic frankness 
and decision, said to me, ' I hear that you are meditating 
the formation of several new districts in your great parish ; 
if you are disposed to appoint me to one of them, I Will work 
it. My answer, based on previous knowledge of the person 
with whom I had to deal, was, * If you will work it, I will 
certainly appoint you to a district.' And acicordingly, on the 
Ist day of June 1847, Mr. Laing entered alone upon a district 
of 9,000 souls, which had been till then without church, with- 
out schools, without any other provision for pastoral minis- 
tration to the sick and dying than that which could be sup- 
plied by the then exemplary, but overtasked minister of 
Camden Town Chapel (the late Rev. E. P. Hannam), to whom 
there remained, even after the separation of the new district, 
a population of at least 20,000.'' 

The subsequent history of Holy Trinity Churclf, Haverstock 
Hill, given in a previous chapter, is perhaps one of the most 
interesting of all the twenty-one parish churches of the now 
sub-divided parish of St. Pancras. 

The three districts besides that of Holy Trinity, namely, 
St. Luke's King^s Cross, St. Jude's Gray's Inn-road, and 
St. Matthew Oakley- square, with varying success, were 
simultaneously commenced, built, and consecrated. In the 
year 1849, the parish had been divided into sixteen districts, 
each district having its own minister and its own place of 
worship; and, "there was no longer a single resident in 
any part of the parish of St. Pancras, who might not obtain, 
within a reasonable space of time, the services of his own 
district or parochial minister." 


Provision was made for the district of St. Jude (now a new 
parish) in what was called a School-church in Britannia- 
street, capable of containing 500 persons. The congregation 
assembled there for some years, till the site being required 
by the Metropolitan Underground Railway Company, it was 
purchased hy them for the sum of £2,500, permission being 
given for the School-church to be used till Lady-day 1863. 
The site of the present Church in the Gray's Inn-road, was 
obtained for £2,700. When the building was completed and 
consecrated it was endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners with £150 a year. 

St. Luke's, King's Cross district, in 1849, was accommodated 
In the Vestry Hall, which held 500 persons, but it was out 
of the limits of the district. Eventually this defect was ob- 
viated by the Vicar (through an act of individual munificence) 
being enabled to purchase the temporary church of St. Paul 
fwhich was no longer needed after the consecration of the 
permanent church in Camden Square), and permission was 
given by the Directors of the Great Northern Railway, that 
it should be re-erected on the ground adjoining the Small-pox 
Hospital, subject to removal at any time on a certain notice, 
which at length took effect in 1869. The Hospital with its 
lawn in front, on which sheep were wont to graze, and on 
which that church was re-erected, has long since given place 
to the exciting scenes of a railway terminus. 

For nearly five years the obtaining funds for the erection 
of St. Luke's Church was almost suspended till the appoint- 
ment of the Rev. C. H. Andrews to the district in 1860. 
The new incumbent applied himself with energy to the work, 
so that in the report of the Church Extension Committee for 
that year, it was stated that the debt due for the erection of the 
church in the Euston-road was paid off. In a short time after 
the church was required by the Midland Railway Company, 
and their handsome and extensive terminus now occupies its 
site as well as that of several houses in the Euston-road and 
adjoining streets. A Mission School-church in Northampton- 
street, capable of containing 200 persons, was erected in 1861. 

Under the St. Pancras Church Regulation Act, St. Luke's 
was constituted a new parish, and was transferred to Kentish 
New Town, and a church erected near the Camden Road, the 
site being the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, 
Oxford. The site of the National School buildings, in 
Islip-street, erected in 1844, was also their gift. 


The district of St. Matthew, Bedford New Town, was 
originally accommodated in what is now the Collegiate 
School, in High-street, Camden Town, when the Rev. 
Charl^ Phillips opened it for divine service on Sunday, June 
24th, 1849. The church in Oakley-square was ultimately 
erected and consecrated in 1856. Its site is exceedingly 
picturesque, and the church is an ornament to the neighbour- 
hood. It is calculated to contain 1,242 worshippers. Under 
the new Act, St. Matthew's is constituted a District Chapelry. 

Six of the churches in St. Pancras are due to the liberality 
of individual bequests. That of St. John, Fitzroy-square, 
through the munificence of *' a Lady,'^ was consecrated in 
1846. St. Mary Magdalene, Munster-square, consecrated in 
1852, was erected by the Eev. Edward Stuart, the first in- 
cumbent, at an expense (including the endowment of £200 
per annum) of £18,000, the site having been purchased by 
the congregation of Christ Church, Albany-street. In St. 
Mary Magdalene's Church, the male and female portions of 
the congregation sit respectively on the north and south, 
sides. The minister is noted for his earnest outspoken 
addresses. St. Anne's, Highgate Bise, was erected by the 
late Miss Anne Barnett in 1853, in memory of her brother, 
Mr. Biichard Barnett. She also bequeathed her house 
adjoining the church as a parsonage-house for the incumbent. 
The peal of bells was the gift of a liberal neighbour. 
Miss (now the Baroness) Burdett Coutts. St. Martin's is 
the gift of John Derby AUcroft, Esq., who also transferred 
to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners £4,200 towards its en- 
dowment. The peal of bells has a fine effect, while the 
church is perhaps, as a structure, one of the most beautiful in 
the parish of St. Pancras. To St. Andrew's, Haverstock-hill, 
has been appropriated, by the Executive Committee of the 
Bishop of London's Fund, the sum of £4,500, entrusted to 
them by " An Anonymous Donor " for the purpose of build- 
ing a church in some poor and populous locality. The site 
was provided by a grant from the London Diocesan Church 
Building Society, of £250, and a private donation of £450. 
The sixth church, the result of individual munificence in the 
parish, is that of Christ Church, situated between Chalton- 
street and Ossulston-street, which is due to the Christian 
liberality of Mr. George Moore, of the firm of Copestake, 
Moore and Co. The cost of the church, with adjoining 
schools for 600 children, was between £14,000 and £15,000, 


whicli was defrayed by Mr. Moore. The churcli is capable 
of seating between eleven or twelve hundred persons, and 
was consecrated on the 23rd December 1368, by the present 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 

In 1860, after thirteen years of activity and devotedness, 
Canon Dale resigned the incumbency of St. Pancras. On 
the public announcement of his intention, in 1869, to retire, 
an address was presented to him, signed by thirty-nine of the 
clergy of the parish, which contained warm expressions of 
esteem and acknowledgments of his great services, and of 
his able and unwearied labours. An enumeration of the 
churches erected, or in course of erection, was then given, all 
of which were "by public subscription, independently of 
those which were due to the munificenoe of individuals." 

He had applied the principle of Sir Robert Peel's Act of 
1842, which enabled provision to be made by immediate en- 
dowment for the appointment of clergymen to populous 
districts previous to the erection of churches, on condition 
that every such district should, as soon as its own church was 
built and consecrated, be constituted a separate parish. 

On June 19, 1865, the last meeting of the St. Pancras 
Church Extension Fund was held. It had existed 23 years, 
during which time it had distributed in grants for churches, 
sites, parsonages, and stipends of clergymen nearly £16,000. 
The London Diocesan Church Building Society had also 
made grants and loans of upwards of £9,000 towards churches, 
&c. ; and in most cases local committees had collected the 
principal amount required for the building, as in the case of 
Holy Trinity. 

When the friends and supporters of the Established Church 
endeavoured to promote its extension by the enforcement of 
a rate, the antagonism of a large and influential part of the 
parishioners was aroused ; but when wiser counsels prevailed, 
and an appeal was made to the voluntary christian zeal and 
liberality of the people, success attended the effort. 

The Bishop of London's Fund, originated by Dr. Tait 
(Archbishop of Canterbury elect) in 1863, for the purpose of 
raising £100,000 per annum for ten years, for the spiritual 
wants of the metropolis and its suburbs, has now a local 
committee in the parish, which supplies the place of the old 

For the above particulars, the writer is mainly indebted 
to Beports, and the pamphlets prepared by Mr. William 


Bivington, who took an active part in the work of Church 
Extension in the parish. 

The Rev. Thomas Dale prepared the way for legislation by 
originating the scheme for the subdivision of the parish into 
districts ; and the results of his 14 years' labour, while he at 
the same time efficiently filled the office of vicar, were em- 
bodied in an Act of Parliament, which was prepared by the 
Rev. Charles Lee, and passed in 1868, being called ** The St. 
Pancras Church Regulation Act, 1868." 

Amongst other objects the chief are the constituting all 
the district parishes of St. Pancras vicarages, and separating 
the Commissioners' Churches, formerly under the manage- 
ment of the St. Pancras Trustees, from the control of that 
body. Each one of the twenty-two parishes into which the 
parent parish is subdivided has all the privileges and rights 
of a parish ; the vicar has common law rights, each vicarage 
being '* a benefice with cure of souls ; and all Acts of Parlia- 
ment, laws, canons, and customs relating to marriages, &c., 
apply to such vicar, vicarage and parish." 

The Act is divided into three parts ; the first part relates 
to bringing the whole parish under the operation of the 
general law; the second part, to regulating the district 
parishes ; and the third part, to the church trust and other 

Arising out of the common law rights, each vicar has the 
exclusive right of ** performing all ecclesiastical offices within 
the limits of his vicarage for the resident inhabitants therein, 
who shall for all such ecclesiastical purposes, be parishioners 
thereof, and of no other parish ;" but the inhabitants of each 
such parish are free from any claims or control on the part of 
theVicar of St. Pancras, or of any vicar of any other subdivision 
of the parish. Each vicar is entitled to all fees, dues, oblations 
and ofterings arising within the limits of his vicarage. The 
appointment and removal of each vicar is to be regulated by 
the laws in force now applicable to benefices with cure of 
souls. The freehold of the site of each church is to be vested 
in the vicar and his successors. Two churchwardens are to 
be appointed for each district parish ; one to be chosen by 
the vicar and the other elected by the inhabitants entitled to 
vote in the election of vestrymen. The parish cl^rk, pew- 
openers, and other persons employed in the church are to be 
appointed by the vicar for the time being, and be removable 
at his discretion. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners or the 


churchwardens have the power to fix the scale of pew-rente 
of the churches, and after paying the salaries of the clerk, 
organist, pew-opener, and other expenses of conducting Divine 
worship, the surplus is to be paid to the vicar for his own 
use. Pew-rents may be discontinued when a majority in 
vestry assembled so determine, the consent of the patron and 
vicar or the order of the Bishop being previously obtained. 

The Church Trustees are to be reduced gradually till the 
total number shall be twenty. They are to apply the income 
of the trust fund, arising from burial fees and rent of land 
at Kentish Town (formerly the site of the old Chapel-of-ease) 
which is to be apportioned between the church of JSt. Pancras, 
Old St. Pancras Church, Kentish Town Church, and Camden 
Town Church: one-third, to St. Pancras Church, and the 
remaining two-thirds to be equally divided amongst the other 
three churches. If the income should exceed £200 the 
surplus shall be equally divided amongst all the churches 
within the original limits of the parish of St. Pancras, for 
the repair of the churches, or the expense of performing 
Divine worship. The remaining clauses of the Act relate to 
the Chaplain of the parochial cemetery at Finchley, and his 
appointment by the Vicar of St. Pancras. The division of 
the fees after the payment of the stipend of the chaplain 
amongst the vicars of the district parishes, is to be in the 
proportion of the burials from each parish. The parish clerk 
of St. Pancras is to furnish an annual account of the receipts 
and payments, for which he is to receive £25 per annimi. 
The same regulation is made for the disposal of the burial 
fees received at the London Cemetery, the West of London 
and Westminster Cemetery, and the Great Northern London 
Cemetery ; but the arrears due from the General Cepietery 
Company are to be paid to the Vicar of St. Pancras. 

To the uninitiated it may appear strange that cemetery 
companies should have to pay a portion of the burial fees to 
clergymen who never perform any duty for it, and who never 
had churchyards connected with their churches ; but it arises 
from the fact that when the London churchyards were closed, 
the vested rights of the clergy were considered, and so it has 
come to pass that the heavy charges even the poor have to 
pay for the interment of their dead is partly made up by an 
increase of the clergyman's stipend in whose parish they live. 

The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are directed to make a 
grant of £120 a year out of their common fimd towards a 


stipend for a curate to serve under the Vicar of St. Pancras, 
and the said commissioners shall reconsider the local claims 
of the district parishes of Old St. Pancras, Kentish Town and 
Camden Town with a view to raising the incomes of the 
vicars thereof to £300 a year each. 

Nothing in this Act contained will enable the making of 
a compulsory church rate in the said district parishes, or 
make the inhabitants liable to any compulsory church rate 
to be made for that part of the original limits of the said 
parish of St. Pancras not for the time being comprised in 
any district parish. 

The patronage of the present parish church of St. Pancras 
continues to belong to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, 
and the Vicar is styled ** Vicar of St. Pancras.'* 

The first schedule contains the Church of St. Pancras ; Old 
St. Pancras formerly the Parish Chapel ; Kentish Town 
(formerly Chapel of Ease) ; Camden Town (formerly Camden 
Chapel) ; the last three being district chapelries, the date of 
Order in Council being in each 27th July 1863. The second 
schedule contains the churches of St. Peter, Regent Square, 
and that of Somers Town, both district chapelries, the date of 
the Order for the first being 26th December 1851, and the 
second, 18th August 1852. The third schedule contains the 
district chapelries of Holy Trinity, Haverstock Hill ; St. John, 
Fitzroy Square ; St. Paul, Camden Square, the date of each 
instrument being 26th December 1851 : and St. Mark, 
Regent's Park, 13th June 1853. The fourth schedule contains 
the two particular district churches of Christchurch, Albany 
Street, 8th August 1837 ; All Saints, Gordon Square, 17th 
January 1843 ; St. Luke, King's Cross, 30th July 1849,'and 
St. Mary Magdalene, Munster Square, both new parishes; 
St. Anne, Highgate Rise, a consolidated chapelry, 13th June 
1853 ; St. Matthew, Oakley Square, a district chapelry, 13th 
May 1859 ; St. Bartholomew, Gray's Inn Road, 13th May 
1860 ; St. Jude, GraVs Inn Road, 19th July 1862 ; St Thomas, 
Agar Town, 1st iNovember 1862; St. James, Hampstead 
Road, 8rd February 1864 ; St. Martin, Kentish Town, 9th 
July 1864, all new parishes ; St. Saviour, Fitzroy Square, 
consolidated chapelry, 4th February 1865 ; and St. Andrew 
Haverstock Hill, new parish, 7th August 1865. 





One of the results of the Beformation in England was the 
setting loose upon society a large number of destitute persons 
who had been pauperised by the vicious ^stem fostered by 
the so-called Bicligious Houses. In 1536 all monasteries were 
dissolved, and two years afterwards parochial registers were 
appointed, but nothing was done for the systematic relief of 
the poor and destitute. In 1552 the state of society was 
such, that Dr. Ridley, then Bishop of London preached at 
"Westminster on the subject, before the youthful and pious 
Edward VI., "in which sermon he made a fruitfull and godly 
exhortation to the rich to be merciful imto the poore ; and 
also to move such as were in authority, to travaile by some 
charitable way and means to comfort and relieve them. 
Whereupon the king's majestic was so careful of the good 
government of the realme, and understanding that a ^reat 
number of poore people did swarme therein, and chiefly in 
the citie of London, and that no good order was taken for 
them, — ^that he did send for the bishop, who met him in a 
great gallery at Westminster, where there was present no 
more persons than they two.'' The result of their conference 
was, the good bishop recommending that " it were good to 
practise with the citie of London, because the number of the 
poore there are very greate, and the citizens also are many 
and wise ; and he doubted not but that they were also pitifuU 
and mercifull. Whereupon the same night (Sunday) the 
bishop came to the lord maior of London, Sir Bichard Dobbs, 
who agreed to set forward the matter with all speede." In 


the end, at a meeting of twenty-four aldermen and commoners, 
they agreed upon a plan of classifying the poor : the " poore 
by imgotency ; the poore by casualty ; and the thriftlesse 
poore. ' On that occasion, they provided the '' house that 
was the late Gray Friers in London, and called it by the 
name of Christ's Hospital, where poore children, to the 
niimber of four hundred, were received in November in the 
flaide yeere." For the sick and diseased they appointed St. 
Bartholomew's Hospital ; and for the riotous, ** that will abide 
in no place, the vagabond and idle persons,^' they instituted 
the Bridewell. 

While vagrancy was, as early as 1388, severely dealt with 
by law, the only principle at first appealed to for the relief of 
the poor was founded on Christianity. The late Mr. Samuel 
Wiswould had peculiar advantages for obtaining a correct 
and complete account of the various charities and bequests 
of pious charitable benefactors to the parish of St. Pancras, 
and his published " Account " is a valuable contribution to 
the History of the parish. It is interesting to observe the 
manner in which some of these gifts were bestowed, and the 
evident anxiety of the rich for the comfort of the poor. In 
his Account, founded upon the '^ Table of pious and charitable 
gifts, first collected and exposed to public view in 1696,^' we 
have a record of sixteen of these charities which have lapsed. 
The earliest gift was that of Sir John Morrant, who gave 
*' unto the parson and churchwardens of St. Pancras, for the 
intent that they should keep an obit " (or anniversary of his 
death, observing such day with prayers and alms) ** twelve 
shillings to the priest, and four snillings to the poor in 
recreation" — four acres of meadow ground called Kilbome- 
croft, valued in 1547 at 16s. per annum, as appears from the 
certificates of the Commissioners for dissolving colleges 
and chantries, in the first year of the reign of King 
Edward VI. 

In 1517, and ninth year of Henry VIII, Richard Cloudesley, 
of Islington, included St. Pancras in his gift of fourteen 
shillings to the churches for two torches each, and two gowns, 
price the piece six shillings and eight pence, to two poor men ; 
and to every priest of the churches named, including St. Pan- 
cras, twenty-pence a-piece, '^ to ye intent yet they shall pray 
for me by name openly in their churches every Sunday, and 
to pray their parishioners to pray for me and forgive me, as I 
forgive them and all the world.'' 


By the will of John Miller, of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, 
Yeoman, dated 18th July 1583, in the 24th of Elizabeth, he 
gave two closes in Green-street, in the manor of Tottenhall 
Court, containing about nine acres, to Simon Frenchbourne, 
of Islington, upon condition that he should yearly pay twenty- 
six shillings and eight-pence to such one poor impotent man 
as the vicar and churchwardens of this parish and four of 
the tenants of the manor should appoint. No traces of the 
payment or of the fund can be found. 

Various other gifts were made which shew the condition in 
which the poor were placed through the dissolution of the 
monasteries. Sir Edward Stanhope, by his will dated 
February 1602, gave JB20, for a present stock for employing 
the poor ** that dwell in the manor of Cantlowes, and the 
profits thereof to be to their relief." 

Two years before the date of Stanhope's will, the statute 
of 43rd Elizabeth was passed, which enacted that the church- 
wardens and overseers should take order for setting to work 
all such persons as had no means of getting their living. 
" To set the poor on work,'' and to provide necessary relief 
for the poor, impotent, old, blind, and those unable to work, 
was a necessity which forced itself on those who had the 
means to aid them. Various small sums were left for that 
purpose, but often encumbered with the provision that they 
** should come constantly, every Sunday, in due time, to 
church.'' In Cleeve's gift of £2 12s., payable for ever, it 
was so stipulated. The benefactor in this case had been a 
citizen and haberdasher of London, and the date of his will 
was December 1635, in the eleventh year of Charles I. It 
was to be bestowed in 13 penny loaves of bread at Highgate 
Chapel. The premises charged with this annuity are under- 
stood to have been a public-house at Finchley, called the 
^' Sow and Pigs.'' 

James Pitt, in 1668, gave £20 and William Blunt, of St. 
Andrew's, Holborn, gave, in 1678, £20 to the poor of St. 
Pancras. John Craven, Esq., of Gray's Inn, left £2,000 to 
be distributed among one hundred poor housekeepers of this 
parish who had been rated to the poor. It was distributed 
on the 14th March 1786, at Bagnigge Wells. In the case of 
Henry Perry, of St. Ann, London, who left the residue of 
his personal estate to the poor of St. Pancras, an unsuccessful 
action to recover it by law was tried, as appears by the Vestry 
minutes of 7th July 1735, The gift of £200, in 1778, by 

y 3 


Sir Peter Dennis^ of Percy-street, Yice-Admiral of the Bed, 
was presented in 1793, to the Female Orphan School, the 
ohurchwardens and overseers being of opinion that it would 
best answer the intention of the testator. William Baker, 
of Coombe-BiBsett, in Wiltshire, by will, gave £50, in 1809, 
to be distributed amongst the poor inhabitants ; the balance, 
after deducting legacy duties, of £45 was disposed of, accord- 
ing to the terms of the bequest, on New Year's Day 1810, 
in bread and money. Mrs. Grace Edwards, of Prattnstreet, 
left £20 for the benefit of the poor, which was distributed by 
the committee appointed by the Directors (together with 
other annual donations) in money and bread on 1st January 
1820. Charles Destrode, of Lambeth, by will gave £25 for 
the ''poor and needy," which was distributed on 1st 
January 1824. John Jackson, of Tottenham Court Boad, 
tallow chandler, left by will, on January 1843, £20 per 
annum, for the purchase of coal for the poor, to be paid out 
of certain Long Annuities, which expired in January 1860. 

The earliest Benefaction (1558) to the poor of this parish 
still in existence is that called ^' Palmer's Gift " which is now 
given to the St. Pancras Almshouses. 

Thomas Charles gave, on the 23rd of December 1617, 
twenty-four shillings in bread yearly for ever to the poor of 
this parish, out of four messuages in Fetter Lane, London. 
One guinea per annum only has been received on account of 
this gift for a number of years past, three shillings being 
deducted for land-tax. This gin is distributed on the 1st 
January, every year, in bread. 

Thomas Cleeve's gift of £50, on 10th October 1634, was 
laid out in the purchase of an annuity of £2 16 a year, and 
was encumbered with the obligation that the thirteen poor 
recipients of penny loaves should ''come in due time to 
church or to chapel to morning prayer, unless hindered by 
sickness or otherwise, as the vicar or churchwarden shall 
allow to be reasonable.'' The bread is now given away by 
the pariah clerk, after morning service, at the parish church, 
in penny loaves, to poor persons of the parish, who have 
attended at the service. 

In 1602, Sir Edward Stanhope gave £20 ^' good money of 
England, to be paid to the Bishop of London, for a present 
Stock, for employing the poor " that dwell in the manor of 
Cantlowe& The son of Lord Keeper Coventry, in 1636, left 
provision that the sum of £5 should be bestowed in '' fewel 


aad cloihes upon the poor people at or near Highgate/' 
which is now paid in sums of 5s. to twenty needy persons. 

At the commencement of every year, a notice is posted in 
Kentish Town and Highgate, stating that applications for 
the gift of William Piatt, Esq., mnst be made at the vestry 
offices. The Directors of the Poor then select ten of the most 
deserving applicants from Highgate and four from Kentish 
Town, who receive £1 each. The dat^ of the bequest is 
1638. There is a handsome monument to the memory of 
William Piatt in Old St. Pancras Church. 

Lady Gh>uld's Gift, chargeable on three tenements at 
Highgate, producing £70 a year, was given by deed in 1691, 
to be distributed '^ among such poor inhabitants of the town 
and vill of Highgate as should not receive any public alms 
or collection from their respective parishes, and should appear 
to be deserving and fit objects of charity.'^ 

While these Benefactions shew the character of the givers, 
they are also an evidence of the inadequacy of such means 
to meet the necessities of the po^r. The early statutes were 
harsh, and indigence was treated as a penal offence. The 
definition of the word " Workhouse,'^ by Dr. Johnson, that 
it was a place where idlers and vagabonds were set to work, 
was in accordance with the way authors one hundred and 
eighty years ago, wrote of it. At first, workhouses appear to 
have frequently partaken of the character of a bridewell. 

The Act of 43rd of Elizabeth^ which is the foundation of 
our present Poor Laws, was to provide employment for the 
destitute. The title of the Act of 1804, relating to St. Pan- 
cras Parish, indicated that work was one of the features of the 
institution in the parish. It was ^'for better governing, 
maintaining, and employing the poor of the parish of St. 
Pancras "; tiie word " employing'' therein used shewed this 
to be a part of the plan. The term " House of Industry," by 
which the poor-house was, and in some places is still called, 
is also a proof of the original intention of the early legisla- 
tors on the subject. But the many abuses which followed led 
eventually to the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act 
in 1834, not without great opposition at what was at first 
thought to be its cruelty to the poor and destitute. 

The objection to the control of the Poor Law Board in St. 
Pancras and in some other of the Metropolitan parishes was 
not BO much to the principles of the law as to interference 
with what was considered to be the right of the parish to 


administer its own local affairs. While admitting tlie riglit, 
and even contending for the continuance of thb popular 
principle in parochial government, none should close their 
eyes to the tact that it has some disadvantages connected 
with it ; — sucby for instance, as the obstructions occasioned 
by party spirit ; and while the almost interminable debate is 
going on, enormous evils are overlooked; then occasion 
arises for interference, and so the parish becomes at last 
under the control of the dreaded " Poor Law Board." There 
is now a partial connection of St. Pancras with the Poor 
Law Board under the ''Metropolitan Government Act of 

The building in the King's-road, has on a brass plate on 
the foundation stone its own description : 

" This foimdation stone of a Workhouse for the parish of 
St. Pancras, in the county of Middlesex, was laid by the 
Rev. Weldon Champneys, vicar of the said parish, and 
Edmund Pepys, magistrate, on 17th June 1807.'' 

The first Workhouse, as before stated, was formerly known 
as the Halfway House, or Mother Black Cap, at the junction 
of the Hampstead and Highgate Eoads. The building and 
land were given by General Fitzroy in 1788, as copyhold, at 
a yearly rent of 13s. 4d. for every messuage, and a fine of 
£20 was paid for the admission of Trustees of the Church 
lands to the ground in 1801. The ground and buildings 
were sold by auction in 1817 for £795, and applied to the 
purposes of the Act for providing a new Workhouse for the 
parish. The Act also gave power to the Directors to dispose 
of all gifts, &c., to the poor of the parish, according to the 
wills of the donors ; they also had power to appoint collectors 
of the rates. In 1819 the select Vestry Act was passed, but 
the evils it caused, led to the passing of an Act empowering 
the parishioners to manage their own affairs by the direction 
and control of vestrymen whom they elected. By the Metro- 
politan Poor Act of 1867 the constitution of the Board of 
Ghiardians was altered so as to admit of representatives from 
the Poor Law Board. 

Most persons have an instinctive repugnance to visiting a 
workhouse, often arising from an incorrect notion of the 
place, and a large number are altogether indifferent about the 
matter. An occasional visit could not fail to correct the 
views of both classes. In that way, too, some sympathy 
yrovld be felt and consideration afforded for the aged and tho 


Buffering, in place of the present notion that it is but a legal 
obligation to pay poor-rates. 

The impression made on the visitor to the men's wards is 
that there is less of the appearance of satisfaction with their 
condition compared with the almost cheerfulness and grati- 
tude which seems to prevail amongst the women. The pre- 
vious indoor domestic life of the latter no doubt contributes 
to that desirable result. 

The dining room for men appears to be all that can be ex- 
pected or desired. It can accommodate some two or three 
hundred at a time. 

An inspection of the bread store would surprise some of 
the ratepayers who are not aware that upwards of sixteen 
hundred persons have to be fed daily. The bread for the 
next day's consumption is placed in racks in the store- 
house; it is of good quality, made of best seconds flour. 
There is an immense number of small loaves, like bakers' 
twopenny loaves, besides others that have been baked in long 
tins, intended no doubt for the delicate and aged; and this 
enormous supply has to be renewed daily. 

The kitchen is supplied with a range of ovens on one side, 
fitted with a steam cooking apparatus, at one end of which 
is the '' tea-kettle,'^ the introduction of which seems also to 
have introduced some amount of grumbling ; indeed it was 
made almost a grievance that the old ladies were deprived of 
their ancient privilege of making and taking their own tea 
how and when they thought proper, which was the case when 
the dry tea was supplied to them. No doubt they have now 
become reconciled to the change, and thus order is observed 
in the time of taking tea. Of the great economy of that 
arrangement there can be but one opinion. 

The meat-store, adjoins * the kitchen, and resembles a 
butcher's shop. On our visit, the day's supply consisted of 
two sheep, a few legs of mutton, several pieces of beef, and a 
large quantity of pieces for stewing. This was for Sunday's 
dinner. Ill-natured people might suggest that many who 
contributed to supply this food would not fare so well as the 
inmates of the workhouse, and no doubt that is true. It is 
one of the anomalies of our social life, but how it is to be 
remedied it is difficult to say. 

There is a class, and unfortunately a numerous class, who 
*' prefer to live on the ratepayers rather than work for their 
pubsistence," said the Guardiros' Report for 1868. They havQ 


done well therefore to proyide againat imposition hj the 
''erection of a room at the north end of the workhouse, 
capable of containing 150 women while employed at oakum 
picking/' A buildmg has been erected '^ in the Leighton- 
roady where 200 men can be employed at stonebreaking and 
oakmn picking/' There are but few men in the able-bodied, 
ward as a consequence of another wholesome regulation, the 
not allowing such inmates the liberty of going in and out 
whenever they desire ; but if people able to wore avail them- 
selves of the accommodation the house affords, they must also 
submit to the restrictions that are found to be necessary. 
Formerly it was no uncommon thing for some to return in a 
state of intoxication, occasionally making the usual exhibi- 
tions of folly and self-importance, if not doing worse. 

It is to be feared that some of the pariiuiioners used to 
make a practice of going into the house in the winter time, 
leaving again when it was more profitable and pleasant to be 
outside. To enable them to do so they ^' planted " their fur- 
niture amongst their Mends. 

One distressing feature of the workhouse system is the 
casual poor or wayfarers ; some of those necessitous persons 
were at one time in fiir different circumstances ; though, as 
a rule, idleness, improvidence and drunkenness have brought 
them into their present degraded state. Howeveri it is the 
duty of a community to see that none of its members perish 
firom cold or starvation. The so-called casual wards of St. 
Pancras as well as of many other parishes were formerly a 
disgrace, and were continually being reported by the police. 
" The present wayfarers' wards may Mrly be considered as 
models of what this class of wards should be ; they have heeaoL 
ably managed by the officers ; and there has not been one 
complaint respecting them by the police ; while the discipline 
now maintained has caused a sensible diminution in the 
number who apply for nightly lodgings in them." 

The cleanliness of the wards, the ventilation, and the 
means for promoting warmth and comfort are all that could 
be desired, and the Guardians might justiy and with pride 
refer to them as a model for other workhouse authorities. 
A sight of the old wards, with their stone flooring, after in- 
specting the present excellentiy contrived dormitories, would 
natoraUy excite the exclamation, that pies would not have 
been treated as these wretched outcasts of numanity form^ly 
were. There is the means for a most refreshing ablution 


before they '^tnm in/' andalso an allowanoe of good bread 
and hot ooffee, we belieye, and breakfaBt in the morning. 

Measorea were taken ''to remoye all the insane persons for 
whom certificates could be obtained, and a saving was there- 
by effiscted of about £2,000 a year, the expense falling upon 
the ratepayers generally." The number of insane inmates 
is not therefore so great as formerly. 

If not aware to the contrary, at first sight the yisitor of 
the insane wards would notice but little difference between 
the inmates here and elsewhere ; a little closer obBerration, 
however, soon reyeals the various distinctive marks of the 
mentally afflicted. Epilepsy occasions a large proportion of 
the cases admitted. In the women's wards nothing particu- 
larly appeared to call for remark as to their cases. One 
poor woman, however, by her i^parent cheerfulness attracted 
attention; but her laughter was melancholy from its un* 
meaning character. Some appeared to be reading, and ac- 
knowledged thankfully the gift of a few old periodicals. 
There seems to be amongst the inmates here, as in all lunatic 
asylums, an intense desire to get outside, beseeching the 
master to grant their request, one alleging that she had not 
been out for a year and two months. 

In one of the male padded wards, a poor fellow was making 
a hideous noise. He was afflicted with paralysis of the 
tongue, and his was feared to be a hopeless case. Though 
ihey have padded wards, they have not frequent need of them 
now, as all bad cases are sent to the coxmty asylums as soon 
as possible. 

The peculiarity of one case was that the poor man imagined 
he was being pursued, and he was continuiuly looking around 
him. Another, a tall man with a military appearance, had a 
fierce look, and perhaps might do mischief, but a determined 
glance from a keeper or any one eke, caused him immediately 
to change his countenance, and he became perfectly submis- 

'' What, are you back again P'^ said the master to a young 
man, who appeared to have little ailing him : That man had 
been sent to Hanwell from this place, and had been dis* 
charged from that place as cured. *' I don't know how it was. 
I know nothing at all about it. It wasn't drink, master.'^ 
This protestation suggested it as the true cause. 

On enquiring as to the probable origin of the melancholy 
condition of these inmates, the answer given by the master 


was, '^ drink is the chief cause." In some cases it was from 
the personal habit of drunkenness, and in others by inherit^ 
ance : the sins of the parents being visited upon the offspring. 

There was to be seen here on the writer's visit a few years 
since, a beautiful child, between two and three years old, the 
orphan son of a maniac mother, who died during her con- 
finement here. That child was the pet of the ward in which 
he was being brought up. Beautiful, intelligent, happy little 
creature, unconscious of his great loss, and of the sad fate of 
his mother, he had here friends created by reason of his very 

Some twenty years since the visitor to this workhouse 
might have seen a middle-aged, rather stout man, with a 
wild look in his eye, but evidently possessing intelligence 
beyond that of the generality of the inmates. He was taci- 
turn in manner, and his time was chiefly spent in walking 
about the yard, smoking his pipe, and apparently engaged in 
conversation with invisible companions. The history of this 
eccentric being may not be altogether uninteresting; the 
writer was well acquainted with him in his best days, and 
the following sketch may be relied upon : 

F. D. was a compositor. As an apprentice he was indus- 
trious, and he acquired habits of such regularity that up to 
forty years of age he was noted for this invaluable charac- 
teristic. He had become acquainted with the theory of many 
scientific subjects; in fact, was considered a well-informed 
man. But a change took place in his conduct. He absented 
himself from business for a fortnight, to the alarm and as- 
tonishment of his friends. He returned, and resiuned his 
previous regular habits, and this temporary irregularity was 
forgotten, till a^ain he was missing, for a longer period than 
before. When he again returned he appeared injured by the 
life he evidently had been leading. A new experience soon 
commenced. He was one da^ walking in Eegent's Park, 
when suddenly he heard a voice addressing him by name ; 
then another, and another, and thus commenced a connection 
with invisible agents, which lasted till the day of his death, 
which took place nearly twenty years after. While at his 
work he would tie string below his knees, to keep his unwel- 
c(mie chatterers out of hearing. On one occasion he thought 
he had caught one of them in his hat, and that he had now 
an opportunity of ending the existence of one at least of his 
tormentors ; but he was outwitted, through paying attentioii 


to his enemy, who said, **Take a pinch of snuff, Mr. D.'* 
Thus taken off his guard, as he said when relating the cir- 
cumstance, and requiring his handkerchief, which was in his 
hat, his enemy escaped, laughing fiendishly at the trick he 
had played him. 

It became at last impossible for the poor man to follow his 
employment, being thus, as he said, literally possessed with 
three devils ; each of whom had a distinct identity to his 
consciousness. If anyone suggested that he was imder a 
delusion, he became incensed with anger, and asserted that 
all his senses but one (sight) convinced him of the actual 
existence of his tormentors ; he felt them crawling like tad- 
poles about his body ; he heard them talk and laugh ; he 
smelt them ; and all that was requisite to complete his 
misery would be that he should see them. At length he be- 
came violent at times, and threatened to throw his sister out 
of window. Eventually his friends suggested that he should 
be placed under restraint. His savings were now exhausted, 
and nearly all those of his sister, too. By strategy poor 
F. D. was taken from home and brought to this workhouse, 
where he received occasional indulgences. An effort was 
made to induce the directors to place him in a lunatic asylum, 
but the authorities of that day reported, after examining into 
his case, that his principal ailment was laziness ! He re- 
mained in this workhouse, almost forgotten, for several 
years, till his death. His kindhearted sister, having spent 
all her hard-earned savings on her brother, gained a live- 
lihood by washing. She had become very deaf, and one 
day, in crossing Bagnigge Wells-road, was knocked down, 
run over, and killed. 

It was the impression of those who knew F. D. that had 
he been placed under proper medical treatment in a lunatic 
asylum, his reason might have been restored, and in addition 
to that great blessing the parish would have been relieved 
from the burthen of keeping him for nearly twenty years ; 
but such representations were unheeded. 

The Daily News of December 27, 1871, gave an interesting 
account of a visit paid to St. Fancras Workhouse on the 
Christmas day morning. There the writer saw many things 
on a large scale, especially the preparations for the Christmas 
dinner. Leaving the kitchen, then visiting the insane ward, 
and at length bidding a respectful adieu to one poor fellow 
l^ho imagined himself to be a' baronet, and tho owner of 


Woolwich Common and Greenwich Park, the writer crossed 
a court to another region, that inhabited by old men. There 
were at that time more than 900 old men and women over 
70 years of age in the workhouse. The dining-apartment 
for such ancient gentlemen as were hale enough to quit the 
wards in which they sleep is a very cheerful and pleasant 
one. As in all the otber day-rooms, were are pictures on the 
walls, nor are there wanting books and newspapers. In the 
ne^t ward there was a sombreness which was explained by 
an old man pointing silently with his forefinger to the screens 
drawn around a cot about naif- way down the ward. ** One of 
the old men had not stayed long enough in the world to eat 
his Christmas dinner : he had started on the long journey in 
the forenoon, and the body lay on the cot behind the screens 
till the doctor, then on his rounds among the living, should 
formally sanction the removal of the dead. Some of these 
old men have known strange vicissitudes. Who among us 
can challenge fortune with sufficient assurance that the 
workhouse be not his lot before he goes to the grave P Ask 
this venerable gentleman, in long past days a solicitor in 
large practice, whether in his days of prosperity he would 
not have laughed you to scorn had you ventured to foretell 
he would find an asylum in the workhouse in the winter of 
his days. But here he is, and very eager for the advent of 
his pound of plum-pudding. Old playgoers will readily 
remember Huggings, the successor of Emery and Knight 
in the part of Zeky Homespun in the ' Heir at Law,' on the 
boards of Old Drury. Can they bring themselves to believe 
that Huggings was yesterday sitting by the fireside in a ward 
in St. Fancras Workhouse P There was a stoical gallantry 
of resignation in the bearing of the old broken actor. He 
has nothing to complain of, he says, in bodily wants ; but 
want of congenial society bears very hard upon him. A man 
of real culture —after quitting the stage, a lecturer on abstruse 
scientific topics, and with an intellect still keen and active, he 
longs with a melancholy eagerness for some congenial con- 
verse, and for books on subjects that were wont to interest 
him in other days. We find old men in the famous /fiat 
Ward,' and in the not less famous ' Black Hole of Calcutta.' 
Whatever once may have been, there are no rats now in the 
cheerful, gaily-decorated room, with which so much scandal 
has been connected, and the ventilation in the ' Black Hole' 
is as sweet as need be desired. In the latter there lies a boy 


among the old men — a fragile, dying creature, with worn 
limbs and face as of an angel. He has no business here, 
strictly speaking, but somehow he was placed here on his 
first admission months ago, and the nurse and the old men 
pleaded so hard that he shoidd be left with them that nobody 
has had the heart to remove him. 

'^ A few steps across a court brought us to the nurseiy 
wards. The nursing mothers were dining most of them with 
their babies in their arms. It is best, says the master, not 
to ask any questions about these little ones. To quote his 
own homely phrase, * They haven't much to brag about in 
the way of fathers.' Never a one of them has been bom in 
lawful wedlock, and about some of the mothers there seems 
no great stock of virtue outside the virtue of maternal love. 
Not a few, indeed, are acting as foster mothers to infants 
deserted by their mothers, in addition to nursing their own, 
and any one not made acquainted with this circumstance 
might imagine that twins were extremely common occur- 
rences among the St. Pancras poor. In an adjoining ward 
were the children old enpugh to leave their mothers — most of 
them, in sad truth, left by their mothers. On low forms 
round the hearth sat the solemn, tiny creatures, gravely 
staring into the glowing fire with an aspect, spite of their 
healthy chubbiness, of premature old age. They sat there, 
with just the same expression we had noticed among the old 
men, through whose wards we had previously passed, ponder- 
ing apparently with a queer weird sagacity upon the anomalies 
of this world. 

'^ There were many more wards to traverse, but to write of 
them at length would only weary the reader. Suffice it to 
say that Christmas decorations, cleanliness, good cheer, and 
contentment were the characteristics of all, and that it is 
evident that Christmas is the grand white stone of the year 
on the sombre pathway of the pauper.'^ 

For several years a party of Christian men and women 
have visited the wards of the workhouse on the evening of 
Christmas Day, the object of their visit being to enliven the 
inmates by the singing of appropriate pieces, and giving 
brief addresses of a cheering and sympathising character ; 
and in that way those self-denying and benevolent people 
have taken into the workhouse something of the spirit of 
their Master, who was ever mindful of the poor. And so, 
not only the bodily appetites but the spirits of the poor 


inmates of St. Pancras Workhouse are provided for at the 
festive season of Christmas. 

The Vestry Hall deserves some notice, not only from the 
object to which it is chiefly devoted, but also from its merits 
as a building. The ground floor is set apart for the various 
offices and committee-rooms for the use of the officers of the 
parish ; and the hall, which is approached by a fine stone 
staircase, is an elegant apartment, where the vestry meetings 
are held. At the east end is a raised dais, or platform, 
over which are portraits of Messrs. Stockton, Wright, 
Brettingham, and Douglas, energetic and consistent vestry- 
men; Mr. Douglas having been mainly instrumental in 
abolishing church rates in the parish. At the west end of 
the hall there is a gallery for the use of ratepayers at the 
vestry meetings. 

The Vestry have the power to grant the hall for social, 
benevolent, or political purposes. While speaking on the 
platform of this hall, in June 1864, Mr. Washington Wilks 
suddenly fell into the arms of those immediately around him, 
and expired before he could be conveyed to an adjoining 
room. He was an impassioned speaker, and possessed abili- 
ties of no common order, which he devoted to the Liberal 
cause. His early decease was deeply regretted by all friends 
of social progress and political reform, who were anticipating 
greater distinction for one of England's most gifted speakers. 

Many suggestions have been made at various times for the 
removal of the Vestry Hall to a more convenient and central 
part of the parish. At either end of High-street, facing the 
Cobden Statue, or on the site of the Red Cap tavern, have 
been suggested. The extent of the parish, the many great in- 
terests existing in it, and the want of a large neutral meeting- 
place in a position where it could be at once seen by everyone, 
may be urged as valid reasons for the erection of a Town 
Hall worthy of the great Parish of St. Pancras. 




Adam and E^c, Hampstead- 

road .... 161 

Adam and Eve^ St. Pancras- 

road .... 49 

Agar, Mis3 .... 60 

Agar Town ... 54 

Band of Hope . . 60 

- In 1851, as described 

by Charles Dickens 55 

In 1868 ... 61 

Alford, Bev. George . 220 
Alexandra Orphanage . . 209 
Ancient Parishes and Ec- 
clesiastical Divisions . 5 

Andrews, Kev. 0. H. . . 331 

Arandell, Count . . 26 

Arundell House . . . 322 

Ashurst, Sir William . 317 
Assembly Boom, afterwards 

Bussell Institution . 138 
Assembly House, Kentish 

Town .... 294 

Atterbury, Dr. 821 

Bacon, Lord ... 99 

Baker, Bev. Bagnall . 140 
Barrow HUl . . 195.200 

Barrow, Sir John . 259 

Battle Bridge ... 67 
Baxter, Bichard . . .151 
Bayham-street . 243. 262 

Letters respecting . 263 

Bedford Arms . . 236 

Balloon Ascents from 237 


Bedford, Duke of 
Bedford House 

Biots of Spitalfields 

Weavers at . 
Belasyse, Hon. Bowland 
Belle-Yue Cottages 
Bevan, Bev. L. D. 
Black Horse, The . 
Black Hole of Calcutta 
Bloomsbury Square 
Boadicea, Queen 
Boarded ^ouse 
Bolton House > 




Boot Inn, The . . . 103 

Bowling Gieen House . 77 

Bray, Mr. W. F. . 68 

Brecknock Arms . . . 270 

Brewer-street ... 78 

BrUl, The .... 378 

Brougham, Lord . . 176 

Bull and Gate, The . . 301 

Bull and Last. The . . 304 

Burdett.Coutts, Baroness . 310 

Burial Fees, Vested Bights in 335 
Burch, Edward . . .286 

Burke, Edmund, Niece of 26 

Burke, John, Esq., Wife of . 26 

Burton Crescent . . 141 

Burton, Mr. ... 71 

Burton, Mr. James . . 138 

Buss, Bev. Alfred J. . . 222 

Caen Wood . . . 313 

Cassar's Camp ... 3 

Camden Chapel . . . 252 

Camden Garden . . - 254 

Camden Hall . . . 250 

Camden, Lord . . . 232 

Camden-road . . . 269 

Camden-street . . 250 

Camden Town . . . 232 

Fatal Duel in . . 269 

«— Fifty years since . 242 

Campbell, Bev. Dr. , 171 

Canonbury Tower . . 280 
Cantalupe, De, Walter and 

Thomas . . . 287 

Cantelowes Manor . . 8 
Carron, Abbe . . .80 

Cartwright, Major . . 141 

Castlehaven, Countess of 26 

Castle Inn, Old . . . 288 

Catholic Apostolic Church . 145 

Chair, Edmund de . . 21 

Chalk Farm ... 201 

Charlton-street . . 80 

Chapel in Chapel-place . 244 

Champneys, Bev. W. W. . 22 
Champneys, Bev. W. . .21 

Chap^-street Market . 78 




Charities for the Poor 338 

Chestnut Bow . . 289 

Cholmeley, Sir Boger 319 

School . . . 820 

Christ Chnroh^ Somers Town 87 
Christ's Hospital, Origin of 838 
Church Lands . • . 9 

CityBoad . * . . 280 
Clarendon-square . 80. 82 

Clarke, Daniel ... 24 
Cobden, Statue of . . 240 
Coleridge, S. T. . . 116.316 
Collegiate School . 239 

Collier, Jeremy ... 36 
Collins, William . 186 

Colosseum .... 196 
Colonnade Beading Boom 137 
Connemara, An English, as 
described by Chas. Dickens 64 

. 144 




. 123 


. 151 


. 275 



. 275 

. 227 

Cook, Eliza . 
Cooper, Mrs. Ann 
Cooper, Samuel . 
Copenhagen House 
Coram, Captain 
Coram-street, Little 
Cosmo, Ghrand Duke 
Cromwell House 
Crowndale Hall . 
Croxall, Joey . 
Cruikshank, George 
Cumberland Terraoe 
Cutts, Bev. Edward 

Dale,BeT. Canon, 
Danby, John ... 35 
D*Arblay, Bev. Mr. . 248. 258 
Denison, Dr. ... 20 
Derinckx, Father 
Dibdin, Charles . 
Dickens, Charles 

His " School " 

— In Drummond-street , 

— In Bayham- street . 

In Johnson-street 







. 83 


. 151 




Dilke, Sir C. . 
Disraeli, Isaac 
Dobney's . 

Doghouse Bar , 

Dominican Church . 

Family) .... 26 
Duel in Camd^ Town, Fatal 269 
Duels at Chalk Farm . . 200 
Dufferin, Lord . . 314 

Duke's Private Boad, The 143 


Earthquakes in 1760 . .168 

Eastlake, Sir Charles . 175 

Ebeneser Chapel . . 245 
Edward VI. and Bishop 

Bidley's care for the Poor 387 

Elephant and Castle . . 283 

Elizabeth, Queen 307 

Erskine, Lord . 294 

Euston-square • . 144 

Eye, Bobert an.d LawrenUa 23 

Farm House« Old 290 

Legend . . . 291 

Fauntleroy, Henry . 309 

Fawcett, Colonel . . . 269 
Fenton, Boger . . 20 

Fitzroy Chapel (now St. 

Saviour's Church) . 
Fitzroy, Mr. 
Fitzroy, General 
Fitzroy House 
Fiazman, John 

47. 175. 178 

Fleet Biver at King's Cross 68 

FontansQ. Count ... 28 
Forster, Bev. William . ' 299 

Forty Footsteps, Field of 152 
Foundling Hospital . .123 

Fozano, F. P. . , 29 

Eraser, Dr. Donald . . 214 

Free Christian Church 300 

FreiUgrath .... 316 

F. D., Story of . . 346 

Fuloherius the Priest . 18 

Geary, Stephen ... 69 

Gittens, Bev. T. W. . . 245 

Glover, Alexander . . 23 
Godwin, Mary Wollstone- 

craft .... 32 

Godwin, William . . 33 
Goldsmith's Journey to 

Kentish Town . • 276 
Gordon, Lord George . • 185 
Gordon-square . . • 145 
Governesses' Asylum • , 227 
Gower-street . . . 175 
Gower-street Chapel . . 178 
Grabe, Dr. ... 31 
Granby-street . . . 189 
Grant, Bev. Johnson 297 
Grapes-place . 292 
Great Northern Bailway Ter- 
minus .... 66 
Gray's Inn ... 94 




Gray's Inn GardenSj and 

Lor4 Bacon ... 99 

Grand Bevels In 159J> . 96 

Hall . . . . 95 

Queen Elizabeth . . 95 

Bookery . . • . 100 

Twelfth Night, in 1622 . 99 

Gray's Inn-road . . 102 

Highway Bobberies near 101 

Greenwood's Almshouses 273 

Gregory, Mr. . . . 130 

Grove, The, Kentish Town . 304 

Guildford-street . . 136 

Hagbi^sh-lane . . . 268 
Hamilton, i)r. James, 89. J 21. 144 
Hampstead from Primrose 

HiU, by Leigh Hunt . 202 
Hampstead-road . . 180 
Hannam, Bev. E. F. . . 253 
Harmood-street . . 218 
Harrison, Bev. J. C. . 246 

Harrison, Samuel . . 36 

Haverstock Hill. . . .203 
Haverstock Congregational 

Chapel .... 
Haslang, De. J. F. X. 
Haslock, Bev. Mr. 
Hermitage, The . 
Heron's Bequest 
Hetherington, Henry 
Higgons, Bevill 
High-street , 

New Town 
Old Chapel 
Ponds . 




Hillman's Nursery 
Hogartb, William 
Holford House (now 

College) . 
Holly Lodge 
HoUy Village 
Hone, William 
Homor's Picture of London 196 
Howard, Hon. Esme . . 25 
lluggings the Actor . 348 
Huntingdon, Countess of 168 
Huntingdon, William . .107 
Uurd, Mr Philip . . 296 
Bussey, Mother • . .2*^1 


Inoculation Hospital, King's 

Cross 64 

Irving, Bev.E. 102. 112. 145. 317 

Jeffreys-terrace . . 289 
Jenner, Dr. ... 65 

Johnson, Dr. . . . 17 

JohnsQn-str.eet, and letter 

respecting Chas. Dickens 83 
Jolly Anglers . . . 291 
Judde, Sir Andrew . 74. 141 
Judkin, Bev. T. J. . 84. 145 

Julius. Csesar ... 1 

Kentish Town . . 9.276 

After dark, in 1756 . 284 

Chapel-of-Ease . . 295 

Harrison's Description 303 

Independent Chapel . 299 

Ken's Ditch ... 287 

Kitto, Dr. ... 260 

King's Concert Booms (now 

Prince of Wales' Theatre) 160 

King's-road ... 282 

King John and the Popo . 18 

King John's Palace . . 164 

Laing, Bev. David . 218. 330 

Lambe, William . . 131 

Lambe's Chapel . 

Lambe's Conduit 

Lambe's Conduit Bath 

Lambe's Conduit Fields . 

Landlords, Besponsibility of 

Langford, Abraham. 

Lauderdale House 

Lee, Bev. Charles . 

Leifchlld, Dr. 

Leigh Hunt 

Leroux, Mr. 

Lichfield, Wm., the Hermit 

I lanover. Lord 

London, Fortifications of . 

London University College 

Long Fields 

Longwiche-lane . 

Lynch, Bev. T. T. . 

. 102 
190. 294 

MaitlandPark . . .205 

Malcolm, J. T., Letter of 72 

Mandubrace ... 2 
Mansfield, Lord . . 150. 313 

Mansion House, Highgate 317 

Marshall, Dr. . . . 21 

Marohe^ De la, Bis'iop 26. 81 




Morgoret, Manrioe . . 29 
Marvell, Andrew . . 822 

Mathews, Charles 810 

Middlesex, Forest of 7 

Middlesez-st., Somers Town 88 
Middleton Dr. . 21. 8126 

Midland Bailway Station 

and Hotel ... 92 
Millfield-lane .310 

Mills, Mrs. Isabella 85 

Milton HaU ... 242 

Mission Church and Insti- 
tute, Middlesex-street . 89 
Mitherless Bairn, The • 346 
Montague House . . 151 
Montgomery, Bev. Bobert . 173 
Montgomery's Nursery . 76 

Monmouth's, Duke of, Be- 

bellion .... 152 
Moore, Dr. ... 826 

Morland, George 186 

Moming^on Church . 190 

Momington Crescent 191 

Momington-place . .191 
Moser, Joseph . . . 153 
Mother Black Cap . 241 

Mother Bed Cap . 240. 243 
Munden, Joseph . . 294 

Munro, Lieutenant . • 269 

National Scotch Churchy 

Begent Square • .112 
Neglected Condition of St. 

James's Cemetery . . 188 
Nelson, Lord ... 292 
"New Boad" ... 74 

Norden's description of St. 

Fancras . • 14. 15 
Nunn^ Bey. John . • 210 

O'Leary, Bev. Arthur . 28 

Orphan Working School » 205 
Owen, Bobert . . .142 

Falmer^ Eleanor . . 215 

Fains-place . . ' 285 
Fancras, St., Church and 

Churchyard ... 22 

— — Extent &Fopulation of 8 

•— — Manor . * . 11 

Old Church . . 14 

Fancratius, the Boy Martyr 12 

Faoli, Do Faschalis . . 29 

Fark Chapel ... 246 

Fasqualino, Feter . . 35 

••Fa8toralVUit«*' . . 219 

Fauperism, Main Cause of 


Fayne, Judge . . 


Fomberton Bow. 


Fercy Chapel 


Ferry, Bev. Frederick 


Ferry, James 




Findar of Wakefield . 


Flatt, William . . . 


Foots' Lane 


Folygon, The 


Fota]ka, Madame 


Fowls-place .... 


Fratt -place and Mr. Joachim 


Frimrose Hill . . • 


Fringle, Thomas 


Frivate Gates . 


FroYidence Chapel 


Begent's Fark ... 192 
Begent's Square Chapel and 

Bev. W. Harness . .110 
Beservoir, Hampstead-road 164 
BiTulet,The . . .190 
Botunda, The ; . . 286 
BoyalAcademy, first Exhibi- 
tion at Foundling Hosptl. 127 
Boyal London Bazaar . 102 

Bugemere Manor . 11 

Bussell House . . 143 

Bussell, Lady Bachel 149. 151 

Sadler's WeUs ... 282 

Sandys, Dr. ... 270 

St. Bartholomew's Church 107 

St. Chad's Well ... 62 
St. Giles-in-the Fields Oeme- 

tery .... 45 
St. James's Chapel and 

Burial Ground . • 184 

St. John's Fark . . 205 

St. John the Baptist Church 296 

St. Eatherine's Hospital . 197 

St. Martin's Almshouses • 260 

St. Martin's Cemetery . 256 

Desecration of . . 269 

St. Michael's Church . . 818 

St. Fancras Almshouses . 214 
St. Fancras Church Beg* Act 

of 1868 .... 834 
St. Fancras Female Charity 

School .... 181 

St. Fancras New Church . 144 

St. Fancras Spas • 60 

St. PancrasYplunteers of 1 799 2Q0 




St. pAiioras Wells . .51 
St. Pancras Workhoaae 2 41 . 3 12 

Interior of . . 342 

Visits to . . 313. 347 

Wayfarers' Ward . 344 

St. Paul's Chapel, Hawley-rd. 301 

St. Stephen's Church 

Sayers, Tom . 


Siddons, Mrs. 

Sketch of Church Extension 

Slin^sby, Dame Mary 

Slack, Mr. T. C. . 

Sloane^ Sir Hans . - • 

Small-poz Hospital . 

Smith, Dr. Southwood . 

Smithy Bev. Sydney . 

Soane, Sir John 

Somers Chapel (now St. 

Mary's Church) 
Somers, Earl . 
Somers, Samuel . 
Somers Town . 
Southampton Arms 
Southampton House 
Southey, Dr. 
Southwood-lane . 
Spooner, Rev, Edward . 
Stebbing, Bev. Dr. 
Steele, Sir Bichard . 151. 
Stewart, Bev. J. Haldane . 
Stukeley, Dr. . 
Stulz^ Baron 
Swiney, Dr. George 
























Tailors' Almshouses . 

Tavistock House 

Tavistock-place . 

Temporary Church, The first, 
in 1845 .... 

Thorold, Bev. Canon 

Tichborne, Sir H., Daugh- 
ter of ... 

Tithes .... 

Tolmer Square . 

Totten Hall Fair . 

Totten Hall, Fines for drink 
ing at • • • * 

Tottenham Court Chapel 

Tottenham Manor . 10. 154 

Tottenham Court-road . 157 
Seventy-acre Farm to 
let in 1703 • 157 








Trafalgar-place . . 2^3 
Traitors' HUl . . -312 
Triggs, Bev. Arthur . 179 
Trinity, St. Pancras . . 218 
Turkish Ambassador's Fu- 
neral ■ . . . .27 
Tussaud, Madame . • 102 

Union-terrace • . • 242 

Vestry Hall . . . . 350 
Veterinary College . . 274 
Vicars of St. Pancraa . .18 

Wakley, Mr. . . .272 
Wall, Joseph ... 41 

Walker, John ... 33 
Walker, Obadiah . . 30 

Walker, Mary, Matron of the 

Workhouse ... 43 
Ward, Edward . * . 31 

Warren-place . . . 240 
Water-lane .... 304 
Watson, Mr. 285 

Webb, Lady Barbara . 25 

Welsh School, The, Gray's 

Inn-road .... 103 
West End Fair . .251 
Weston-place, and Joanna 

Southcott ... 67 

White, Bev. Edward . . 301 
White Conduit House 277. 281 
Whittington Stone . . 324 
Wild, Jonathan . . 42 

Wilkes. John ... 233 
Wilkie, Sir David . . 180 
Wither, George . . .157 
Wilsted-street ; Gale Jones 79 

Dr. SquirreU . . 80 

Old Chapel in . . 79 

Wobum Chapel . . .140 
Woffendale, Bev. Z. . 89 

Wolcott, Dr. . . . 76 
Woodhead, Abraham 31 

Woollett, WilUam . . 34 
WooUaston, PhUadelphia . 24 
Worsfold, Bev. J. N. . • 87 
Workhouse,originally aplace 

for work .... 841 
Wright, Bobert . . 294 

Yearwood, Bandolph . 20 

Zion Presbyterian Church . 91 
Zoological Gardens * • 199